8th Judicial District offers alternatives
Please see “Divorce in New York state” for an overview of state law, no-fault versus fault-based divorce and uncontested versus contested divorce.
In addition to the legal considerations of ending a marriage, family experts also recommend paying attention to the emotional and psychological aspects because many who have gone through a divorce–no matter how “amicable”–often report profound feelings of loss and grief.
Addressing domestic violence
Another warning from experts and legal authorities concerns domestic violence, which these authorities say is something that must be addressed immediately in any family that experiences such issues. A trained, experienced attorney can help with all these problems: the legal concerns, referrals for professional counseling and help with domestic violence, including protective/restraining orders.
Residents of Buffalo and Erie County also have numerous agencies and facilities that can help with domestic violence, including these online resources:
- Domestic violence resource list;
- Erie County District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau;
- Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence;
- 211 Western New York.
- Child and Family Services;
- Crisis Services;
- Family Justice Center.
Unlike many states, New York does not administer divorce proceedings through Family Court but instead through the Supreme Court; 8th Judicial District courts and locations are shown here; other resources offered in the district are listed here.
The Chief Clerk’s office is at:
25 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Another option is Alternative Dispute Resolution, which the court describes as methods that “often reduce the stress, trauma, and expense of divorce on children and families.”
One alternative is divorce mediation, in which a “neutral third party called a ‘mediator’ helps the couple to work through the issues of their divorce and reach a mutually agreeable settlement. Please note that mediation may not be safe or appropriate for individuals with a history or fear of domestic violence.”
In Erie County, the neutral agency is Child & Family Services.
Collaborative Family Law
Yet another option is known as Collaborative Family Law, described as a process that “gives divorcing couples a way to end their marriage respectfully, without going to court, while offering them the support, guidance and protection of their own, specially-trained lawyers. If either spouse decides to go to court, both spouses must hire new lawyers. This motivates everyone involved to continue working toward a mutually agreeable resolution.”
Forms & instructions
On the divorce-forms page, the court says, “The New York State Unified Court System offers free instruction booklets and forms for people starting a divorce.
“Before you use the booklets and forms, we strongly suggest that you give serious thought to using a lawyer for your divorce, even if you believe that your divorce will be ‘uncontested ‘ (i.e., your spouse will not oppose the divorce in any way). There can be a lot more to think about than just ending the marriage and filling out court papers. (For example, there may be property to divide between you and your spouse, or you may need an Order of Protection and/or child support and other financial support, among other things.)”
No matter your marital situation, we can help. If you’re ready to begin the search for a compatible, well trained, experienced divorce attorney, you can start with our free case evaluation. If you need more information, please browse our site, using the tabs at the top of the page.
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