Divorces necessarily involve the use of the court system. In New York, the spouse that initiates a divorce must pay a filing fee before the paperwork will be processed by the court. This fee entitles you to an index number, which will be used by the court to assign your case to a judge. Index numbers are required regardless of whether you are basing the divorce on the fault of your spouse or filing on the no-fault ground of separation.
Waiver of Fee
Although New York courts charge a filing fee to initiate a divorce, low income individuals may be eligible for a waiver and free index number, and can avoid other court costs. Approval of the waiver is always at the discretion of the court, after review of your fee waiver request. On the waiver form, which may be obtained from the court, you must include detailed information about your income and assets. If the judge subsequently denies your request, you are responsible for paying the filing fee or your case will be dismissed.