What Court Handles Divorce In New York State?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Divorce

It’s easy to get confused about the divorce process in New York State, largely because not every issue connected with a divorce is handled in the same place. Issues involving custody, visitation, child support and spousal support may all be addressed in Family Court – but only the Supreme Court can hear a divorce petition. 

In New York County, which serves the New York City area, anyone wishing to file for a divorce must go to the New York State Supreme Court Building, originally known as the New York County Courthouse. The building is located at 60 Centre Street on Foley Square in the Civic Center neighborhood of Manhattan within New York City.

What do you need to file for divorce in New York State?

Generally speaking, you will need to complete and submit several forms to get started with your petition. Since you’re filing the paperwork first, you are considered the plaintiff, and your spouse is considered the defendant in the case. The forms are available on the court’s website, and include:

  • Summons WIth Notice or Summons and Verified Complaint: Both of these start the divorce process and set things into motion, so that the defendant (your spouse) can be properly notified. You will need to provide the “grounds’ ‘ for your divorce and any relief that you’re seeking – which is your proposal for who issues like the division of property, custody and visitation, alimony and other issues will be handled. 
  • Notice of Automatic Orders: This advises both you and your spouse of the automatic stays, which are designed to preserve the “status quo” during the divorce process, that go into place once the initial paperwork is filed.
  • Notice Concerning Continuation of Health Care Coverage: This informs your spouse of the right to continue health care coverage during and/or after the divorce.

If you already have a settlement agreement negotiated, that would also be included with your petition. Once filed, the Clerk of Courts will assign your case an index number, which is how it can be located within the system.

You also need to bring money to pay the filing fee. An uncontested divorce has a minimum filing fee of $335, and each subsequent motion that is filed is an additional $45 dollars. It’s important to note that only one spouse must reside within New York state and meet the residency requirements for the divorce to be initiated here.

Divorce is not a do-it-yourself situation, no matter what anyone would have you believe. If you want to protect your interests, seeking experienced legal guidance for your divorce is the wisest move you can make.

At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce or ready to file, reach out to schedule a consultation at 646-665-3903 or by contacting us online.

Let Me Be Your Brave

Mia Poppe, Esq.

Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner