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New York StateUnified Court System

Contested Matrimonial Procedure


Overview

1. Obtain an Index Number from the County Clerk’s Office, Room 118, for a fee of $210.00, and file the Summons with Notice or Summons and Complaint. Obtain a file stamped copy of the Summons with Notice or Summons and Complaint from the County Clerk.

2. A copy of the Summons with Notice or Summons and Complaint, with the index number and filing date stamped on it, is to be delivered to the defendant personally, or upon application, by court ordered alternate service.

3. The defendant must be served within 120 days of the purchase of the index number and the filing of the Summons with Notice or Summons and Complaint unless an application for an extension of time to serve is made by the plaintiff’s attorney and granted by the court.

4. Personal service upon the defendant should be made by a person 18 years old or older who is not a party to the action. No service is to be made on a Sunday.

5. A Request for Judicial Intervention (R.J.I.) must be filed no later than 45 days from the service of the Summons with Notice or Summons and Complaint unless both parties file a Notice of No Necessity with the court. If a Notice of No Necessity is filed by both parties, then the R.J.I. must be filed no later than 120 days from the service of the Summons with Notice or Summons and Complaint.

6. The Request for Judicial Intervention (R.J.I.) filing fee is $95.00.

7. Once the R.J.I. is filed, a preliminary conference will be scheduled. The preliminary conference must be held within 45 days of the filing of the R.J.I. Preliminary conferences are usually scheduled by the court within 30 days of the filing of the R.J.I.

8. The date and time of the conference shall be set forth in a preliminary conference scheduling order which shall be mailed to the attorneys. The preliminary conference scheduling order will specify the papers that must be exchanged between the parties prior to the preliminary conference, and will specify the time in which such exchange is to take place.

9. Net Worth Statements must be exchanged between the parties, and filed with the court no later than ten (10) days prior to the preliminary conference. See Uniform Rule 202.16 (f)(1) for a list of other papers that must be exchanged prior to the preliminary conference. Said papers will also be specified in the courts preliminary conference scheduling order.

10. The parties must be present at the preliminary conference, and the court shall address them at the conference.

11. At the close of the conference, the court shall schedule a compliance conference unless the court dispenses with the compliance conference based upon a stipulation of compliance filed by the parties.

12. The parties must be present at the compliance conference, unless they are excused by the court, and the court shall address them at the conference.

13. Discovery must be completed and a Note of Issue must be filed within six (6) months from the commencement of the preliminary conference, unless otherwise extended or shortened by the court depending upon the circumstances of the case.

14. The Note of Issue must be filed within ten (10) days of after it is served. The Note of Issue must be filed in triplicate. The filing fee for a Note of Issue in a contested matrimonial action is $30.00.

15. A Statement of Proposed Disposition with proof of service must be filed with the Note of Issue.

16. In accordance with Uniform Rule 202.16(f)(3) a trial is to be scheduled no later than six(6) months from the date of the preliminary conference in a non-complex case.

17. If the case is settled prior to the filing of the Note of Issue, an inquest will be held and the court will issue an order which allows for the late filing of the Note of Issue, waives the Certificate of Readiness, and dispenses with service.

18. Once judgment has been granted orally on the record, after trial or inquest, the following documents, in the exact order listed, must be presented personally or by mail to the Matrimonial Clerk’s Office, Room 217:

  1. Three (3) copies of the Note of Issue with $30.00 fee (if not previously filed)
  2. A copy of the court's short form order permitting the late filing of the Note of Issue and waiving the Certificate of Readiness and service
  3. Notice of Settlement of Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and Judgment
  4. Proof of service of Notice of Settlement, Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and Judgment
  5. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
  6. Judgment
  7. Original Certified Transcript - (Secure the name and telephone number of the court stenographer on the day of the inquest or trial. Call the court stenographer to order the transcript. The court stenographer will inform you of the fee for the transcript.)
  8. Stipulation of parties correcting any errors in the transcripts (if applicable)
  9. Affirmation of Lateness with proof of service, if settled more than 60 after inquest or decision after trial
  10. Sworn Statement of Removal of Barriers to Remarriage with Proof of Service - (Affidavit must reflect that steps "have been" taken in accordance with D.R.L. 253(3). If grounds are based on Separation Agreement and the defendant appears in the action, the Defendant must also submit a Sworn Statement of Removal of Barriers to Remarriage)
  11. Copy of any stipulation entered into between the parties
  12. Copy of any Family Court order which is to be continued
  13. Summons With Notice or Summons (served with Verified Complaint), with proof of filing
  14. Pleadings or copy of pleadings if pleadings were previously filed with court
  15. UCS 111 form and Child Support Information Form (Case Registry Form) where a determination of child support has been made
  16. Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage - Form DOH 2168
  17. Part 130 Certification
  18. Two (2) self-addressed, stamped postcards

19. The Notice of Settlement, Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and Judgment must be submitted within 60 days of courts direction to settle on notice.

20. A copy of the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, Judgment, and Notice of Settlement must be served not less than five (5) days before the settlement date if served personally, or not less than ten (10) days before the settlement date if served by mail.

21. Any counter Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and counter Judgment will be made returnable on the same date and place.

22. A copy of any counter papers will be served not less than two (2) days before the settlement date if served personally, or not less than seven (7) days before the settlement date if served by mail.

23. The Notice of Settlement, Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and Judgment must be filed with the matrimonial clerk on or before the return date.

24. The papers will be forwarded by the matrimonial clerk to the court for consideration on the next business day following the settlement date.

25. The Notice of Settlement and proof of service of the Notice of Settlement, Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and Judgment are not required if the other party consents in writing to the form and content of the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and Judgment.

26. If the papers are acceptable to the court, the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and Judgment will be signed. Otherwise, further corrections may be required.

27. The divorce is final after the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and Judgment are signed by the court and entered by the County Clerk. A certified copy of the final signed Judgment may be obtained from the County Clerk’s Office, Room 118, for a fee of $8.00 per certified copy.


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