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How long would a filed divorce remain valid and who would be best person to contact to determine the status of the paperwork?

Q: I'm a social work intern trying to find out information for one of my clients. My client filed for divorce 10 years ago and paid all the associated fees, but the divorce was never finalized. My client is curious if she needs to repay and refile the divorce papers or if her original paperwork would still be usable or applicable, which would be preferable to the former as she does not currently have the means to file again. There is no property to split or child support, nor would her spouse contest in any way. My client wants to protect herself when she retires so that her spouse could not have any claims on what little income she may have. Any guidance would be very much appreciated.

A: David's Answer: She'd most likely need to go to the Clerk's Office to be certain. Theoretically the clerk may have either marked her file abandoned - and it's possible (though extremely unlikely) it was administratively dismissed for failure to prosecute. If neither happened, then most likely she can pickup where the case left off. She should schedule a consult with a White Plains Divorce attorney for a full assessment. - David Bliven, Westchester Divorce Attorney.

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