To commence divorce action, a summons with notice or a summons and complaint need to be filed with the Monroe County Clerk’s Office or the appropriate county clerk’s office. The complaint contains the necessary elements for the divorce, including the date of marriage of the parties, the jurisdictional basis (the connection between the marriage and New York State which gives New York the authority to make decisions about the divorce), the names and dates of birth of the children and grounds, including one party swearing under oath that the marriage has been irretrievably broken for six months or more. Also included will be what you want out of the divorce. These elements will be laid out in the complaint by your attorney, along with certain other required notices regarding health insurance coverage, spousal maintenance and the Notice of Automatic Orders.
The documents to file the divorce are submitted either in person at the relevant county clerk’s office, be it Monroe County, Onondaga County or wherever, and paying the $210 filing fee.
Service of the documents must be made on the other party, the defendant, within 120 days of the filing. This can be done by having defendant personally served with a process server, or defendant may agree to accept service.
These requirements are specific and often strictly enforced. Certain aspects of relief may be waived if they are not properly raised or the case may be subject to dismissal if the required elements are not included. Though nobody can predict all outcomes, your divorce attorney should have the experience and knowledge to address the anticipated issues at the outset of your action so that everything proceeds as smoothly as possible from the beginning.