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Law Offices Of David Bliven
Law Offices Of David Bliven
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    White Plains, NY 10601
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What Is The Divorce Summons Process In New York?

A Divorce Summons is simply the first document filed with the Court which has to be served on the other side.

The general rule is that Divorce Summons has to be personally served, which means either the other party has to acknowledge receipt through a notarized signed acknowledgement, or a process server has to go out and actually hand the summons to them.

In terms of what Divorce Summons consist of, they are essentially the “divorce papers” you see being served on people in movies and TV. In reality, they are just one-page documents (though now there are several mandatory attachments with logistical information and COVID-19 related updates on protocol). They notify the party that a divorce case has been filed, and that they have 20 days to answer.

Divorce Summonses do not tell you whether a divorce case is going to be contested or uncontested. In cases where the person filing for divorce intends to contest the divorce, Divorce Summonses are often followed with a Notice of what the contested issues potentially are in the case, or a Complaint will expand on the contested issues.

The key thing to keep in mind is that Divorce Summons are not Settlement Offers. Nothing contained within that document can be read as a settlement offer or even settlement suggestion, and one cannot assess from the verbiage in a subsequent Summons Notice or Complaint what the other party’s settlement offer may be.

Rather, Divorce Summonses are simply reservations of the right to make certain claims in the case. This is something very important to keep in mind when receiving or reading over a Divorce Summons (or the subsequent Notices or Complaints). For example, a Father may state he is seeking custody in the Complaint. It is wrong to read that as him actually wanting custody of the child, however – as opposed to merely reserving his right to contest custody in the event a settlement cannot be reached.

For more information on Divorce Summons Process In New York, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (347) 797-1188 | (914) 362-3080 today.