Divorce & Custody
Your divorce will be uncontested if you and your spouse both want to get a divorce and you both agree about the grounds (legal reason) for the divorce. You must also agree about what will happen with your children, your property and your finances after the divorce. Click here for the Uncontested Divorce resource page.
Your divorce will be contested if either you or your spouse do not want to get a divorce, disagree about the grounds (legal reason) for the divorce, or disagree about what will happen with your children, your property or your finances after the divorce. Because the judge will require detailed information in order to decide the outcomes on the issues you disagree about, your contested divorce will require you and your spouse to go to Supreme Court a number of times. Click here for the Contested Divorce resource page.
Legal Services NYC (917-661-4500) Monday – Friday 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Eligibility: Up to 200 percent above poverty line to qualify for free services
Provides advice and referrals on a variety of issues, and provides representation on housing issues and government benefits. Representation is granted case-by-case and is based on income.
Volunteer Attorney Program (Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Help Center at 60 Centre Street, Room 116 to make an appointment)
An uncontested divorce program is held weekly–appointments are required. Volunteer lawyers assist in the preparation of divorce papers, provided that the litigant knows the current address of their spouse, has no issues to be resolved before the court and there are no minor children of the marriage.
There is no cost to the litigant, other than the court fees of $210 to purchase an index number and later, $125 to have the case put on the matrimonial calendar. If the litigant (i.e. person involved in a lawsuit) is poor, a fee waiver request will be included.
Monday Night Law (212-626-7373)
- Midtown: New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street (Mondays only). Appointments are scheduled between 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM in 30-minute time slots. Space is limited.
- Downtown: New York County Lawyers’ Association, 14 Vesey Street (Tuesday-Thursday). Appointments are scheduled between 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM in 30-minute time slots. Space is limited.
Eligibility: None, but must make an appointment–no walk-ins.
Monday Night Law is a community service program providing free consultations with volunteer lawyers.There is no charge for making an appointment or meeting with the volunteer lawyer. The consultation is a chance for you to discuss questions you may have about a legal issue or process, and an opportunity to have a lawyer help you figure out what to do next. Issues covered include employee law, divorce, family law, bankruptcy, consumer law, housing, and small business matters. Spanish translators may be available.
- (212-602-2800) 80 Centre Street
- (718-575-4500) 126-02 82nd Avenue, Kew Gardens
- (718-508-1222) 198 East 161th St
- (718-250-5111, select 6) 350 Jay Street
Eligibility: Must be victim of domestic violence, elder abuse, or sex trafficking. Services are free and available to all victims and in all languages, regardless of immigration status.
Clients do not need to make an appointment. The FJC has partner organizations with staff members who speak more than 20 languages. In addition, interpretation services are available for over 150 languages at the FJC. NYC Family Justice Centers provide legal information on family matters, immigration and divorce, as well as counseling. Lawyers and paralegals are available to meet with clients to provide advice or representation. They assist clients in understanding their legal rights and may be able to assist with family law (custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, orders of protection) matrimonial, or immigration matters, such as visa information or employment authorization.
Center for Women of New York Legal Clinic (718-793-0672 or email: email@example.com) Queens Borough Hall, Room 325
Eligibility: None, but please call ahead of time.
Takes place every other Tuesday at 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. An attorney provides advice for a variety of issues including divorce, domestic violence, child custody, and assistance with filing forms; Medicare and Medicaid advice. Services are free.
Also provides a women’s support group, a job support group (for those looking for work, and computer classes (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel).
Custody & Family
Family Court Attorney Program – VAPFamily@nycourts.gov
The New York City Family Court Volunteer Attorney program offers free consultations with attorneys in cases involving support, paternity, custody, guardianship, visitation, and orders of protection. Attorneys do not represent clients in court, and they do not give advice over the phone. Sign-ups for the program start at 8:30 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. The number of slots is very limited.
MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS and FRIDAYS (9:00 AM to 4:30 PM)
New York County Family Court – 1st Floor Help Center
60 Lafayette Street
New York, New York
TUESDAYS and WEDNESDAYS (9:00 AM – 4:30 PM)
Kings County Family Court – 5th Floor Petition Room
330 Jay Street
Brooklyn, New York
TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS (9:00 AM – 4:30 PM)
Bronx County Family Court – 1st Floor Help Center
900 Sheridan Avenue
Bronx, New York 10451
THURSDAYS (9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Queens County Family Court – 1st Floor Help Center
151-20 Jamaica Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11432
MONDAYS (9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Richmond County Family Court Annex – 4th Floor
25 Hyatt Street
Retrouvaille International – 800.470.2230
The Retrouvaille Program consists of a weekend experience combined with a series of 6-12 post-weekend sessions over 3 months. It provides the tools to help put your marriage in order again. The main emphasis of the program is on communication in marriage between husband and wife.
NY County Lawyers’ Association Legal Counseling Project – 212.267.6646 ext 217
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Eligibility: Anyone can receive services
The Legal Counseling Project provides free counseling to clients three times a month on an appointment-only basis in the areas of family, employment, consumer bankruptcy, and landlord/tenant law. No representation of any kind is undertaken. Many clients are prepared during these sessions – typically lasting 30-45 minutes each – for pro se representation; referrals are made to a variety of sources if the volunteer attorney determines that legal representation is necessary or desirable.
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