How Do I Know If My Divorce Is Final In New York?
One of the biggest questions people getting divorced have is:
“AM I DIVORCED YET?!”
This is a pretty important question! In fact, there is a great deal of confusion surrounding when someone is divorced in New York and how you find out.
The answer is simple:
In New York, when a Judge signs your Judgment of Divorce and it is entered by the Clerk, you are officially divorced!
So, that being said, how do you find out if a New York Judge has signed your Divorce Judgment?
There are a number of ways.
This page will focus on one way in particular to find out if your divorce has gone through in New York. That way is by checking the Unified Court System’s Ecourts/WebSupreme site and looking for the answer.
How to use E-Courts to find out if a Divorce Judgment has been signed:
- Log in as a public user. (if necessary or prompted to, otherwise skip this step).
- Search for your case. You can search for cases on E-Courts by Party Name, Index Number or Attorney/Firm Name. Click the type of search you want to perform.
- You may be prompted to enter a “CAPTCHA CODE” or have to complete some other challenge to ensure that you are not a robot. If you are a robot, you are not welcome and shame on you for being a robot. If you are a data miner, it seems you are not welcome either and should take your mining self somewhere else with all that data mining and stuff. Once you complete the mission and possibly fight a ninja to prove yourself worthy to use the system, your search fields should show on the screen.
- Enter your name or index number (or other appropriate information). In Name search, remember to choose Plaintiff (if you filed the divorce), Defendant (if you got served with papers) or the “either” option. Also, it will help a whole bunch if you enter county information, especially if you have a common name.
- When you find your case, look at the case status. Is it “disposed” or “active”? If it is “disposed” there is a change that a Judgment has been signed. However, sometimes, cases that have been marked off calendar or contested cases in which the Judge orders a divorce in court on the record will show up as “disposed” but not have a judgment signed yet (after such an occurrence, the parties must file documents for the court to review, including a proposed judgment).
- If you do not find your case, you may be inputting your information wrong. Also, your name may have been inputted into the system wrong. Or, most likely, you have not yet had an RJI filed in your case which means your case has not been put on the calendar at any point. This may be because the case is still too new or because you have not filed the final divorce papers yet. A filed divorce which has not gone in front of a judge and has not yet filed the final divorce packet would probably not show up in this system. Needless to say, such a case is not yet going to have a judgment of divorce signed.
- Click the Index Number, which should be a link and should look like this: 12345/2016.
- A screen with case information should pop up. One of the buttons on that screen should read “Show Appearances”. Click that button.
- You should see at least one appearance. If your case has more than one appearance, you are looking through them for the following entry in the Comments field: “JUD. SGD.” See the next step for an example (future dates are used here but the dates will have passed already):
- Appearance Information:
Time On For Appearance
08/12/2018 Supreme Trial Inquest Held JAKE S. PAPAJOHN
CONFERENCE PART 5
JUD. SGD. 5/4/18
TO CC 5/8/18
- If your case has an appearance with a comment field with JUD. SGD or some similar notation, Congratulations, changes are, the Judge has signed your divorce judgment and chances are it has been filed or will be filed any day/week now! You are probably divorced! It can take a couple of weeks after the Judge signs for all of the papers to be filed and get where they need to go.
- If you see nothing of the sort in any comment field, there is a good likelihood that the court has not yet gotten to your divorce matter or might have sent you a postcard in order to get you to correct your documents.
- If your papers have been signed, don’t go rushing down to the courthouse! As set forth above, it takes time for all the papers to get where they have to go. You may want to contact the county clerk in your county to ensure that the documents are ready to be picked up or copied. There may be fees associated with obtaining copies of your divorce papers (there are most likely fees).
The Queens Supreme Court also has a good explanation of how to get divorce judgment information.
Please Note: This site is not in anyway affiliated with the New York State Unified Court System and is provided for informational purposes only. This information is being provided for free and as a courtesy and is not intended in any way to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact your personal lawyer for legal advice or advice as to your own personal situation.