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FAQ

FAQ

No, we are not attorneys. We are generally considered what is referred to in the industry as Legal Document Assistants or Legal Document Preparers.  The profession of Legal Document Assistant or Legal Document Preparer is not a licensed or recognized profession in New York State.  However, in some states, like California and Colorado, being a Legal Document Assistant IS a licensed profession.  We provide computerized documents at your direction using information supplied by you - you make all the decisions and you remain in charge throughout the entire process.  We're just here to help with the paperwork.  We are not able to give legal advice.

We are not attorneys and are therefore barred from providing legal advice.  We do have a resource attorney who is available to speak to for FREE. She can only answer general legal questions and cannot give advice as to what might be best for you. We also may be able to refer you to a competent local attorney that can answer your questions. You can always consult with an attorney of your choice.

We the People's Legal Document Assistants prepare standard, computerized court forms at your direction, using information supplied by you.  You have a Constitutional right to represent yourself in any legal matter, and our services are designed to help you effectively and inexpensively represent yourself.   There is much misinformation and disinformation disseminated regarding your right to represent yourself in any legal action, and some of that misinformation is unfortunately perpetuated by attorneys and even public court system employees.  Do not let anyone, including public court system personnel, discourage you from representing yourself in court if that is what you truly want to do.  If you wish to do more research on the subject of representing yourself, you might start by Googling the terms "pro se", or use legal resources like the NOLO series of do-it-yourself books and publications.

Absolutely!  Not only do we stringently adhere to all New York State and Federal laws regarding equal accessibility of our services to any member of a protected class, but we believe all Americans deserve equal access to legal and court documents, including those involving marriage and divorce. We offer a friendly and welcoming atmosphere in our office for members of the LGBT community.  

On October 12, 2010, a new law took effect in New York State which added No-Fault Divorce grounds as an option for New York uncontested divorce filers to use. This would require at least one party to swear under oath that the marriage has irretrievably broken down for a period of six months or more. 

Unfortunately there are many companies online that are preparing inadequate, outdated or flat out incorrect New York State divorce documents.  If the documents themselves were deficient in some way, ask that the company fix any problems or ask for your money back from them, although that may be difficult if they are out of state.  If you paid by credit card, contact your credit card company about the sale and whether they can facilitate a refund for you.  Keep in mind the court generally will not refund any of your court fees.  Then hire a local, in-state document preparation company like We the People NY to help you with your next filing.  We the People NY adheres to all industry standards, and we meet all of the American Association of Legal Document Preparers guidelines for hiring a quality, reputable legal document preparation company.

The difference is just $499.00, as the court fees are the same for all filers.  However, this will be your first time filing for an uncontested divorce in New York. Sure, you can spend all your vacation time from work studying up on how to file for uncontested divorce in New York State and running around to the court clerk's offices and the Notary Public, but do you want to?  And if you make a paperwork mistake and your divorce is rejected by the court, you might have to start all over again and you may not be refunded your court filing fees of $335.00.  $499.00 is a small price to pay for peace of mind knowing your divorce documents will typed using all the standard and up to date court forms.

The term "uncontested" generally refers to that fact that neither party in a court action is interested in fighting the other party and neither party chooses to hire an attorney.  We the People can only assist in preparing standard documents for uncontested court matters.  If, for example, your spouse has hired an attorney to file for divorce, We the People cannot help you.  We recommend you seek a competent matrimonial attorney of your choice in that situation.  If you are unsure as to whether you can successfully utilize the services of a computerized document preparation service, you should have a consultation with a matrimonial attorney first.

Yes, if you and your spouse can agree on all the important issues like marital assets/debts and minor children's issues, then we can assist you in preparing the documents for your uncontested divorce.  We welcome members of the LGBT community.  We offer a safe and accepting office atmosphere for our LGBT customers.  In fact, We the People NY prepared the paperwork for the first pro se same-sex divorce in New York State!

Usually, that information is included as a standard clause in a New York State Judgment for divorce, so that the wife may resume using her maiden name or any other surname she was previously known as.  Once your divorce is granted, the Certified Copy of your Judgment for Divorce can be used as proof at the Social Security Administration and at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles that you are allowed to use your maiden name again.  We suggest you start by changing your name at the Social Security Administration and at New York State DMV, then once your ID is changed, you can change your information with your employer, your bank and other entities.

Many people access the Family Court System in New York State prior to filing for divorce and are used to the fact that there are no filing fees in the New York State Family Court System.  However, divorces are granted in New York State Supreme Court, which is a higher court than Family Court.  New York State Supreme Court does set filing fees in uncontested divorces.  In most counties, those court filing fees will total $335.  The court systems in every state need to take in revenue in order to operate the courts properly and pay judges and court personnel.  It is reasonable for the courts to ask those seeking to use the court's time and resources help pay for those costs.  You must expect to incur filing fees if you are seeking to file for divorce in New York State.

There is a way to obtain a divorce in New York State even if you are unable to find your spouse; however, that is not something we can assist with here at We the People.  We suggest you contact a matrimonial attorney for additional information.

Most of our divorce document preparation customers come from Albany County, NY; Rensselaer County, NY; Saratoga County, NY; Schenectady County, NY; Washington County, NY; Fulton County, NY; and Montgomery County, NY.  However, New York State has a Unified Court System, which means the process and laws apply the same in all counties.  We can additionally prepare paperwork for any New York State county, outside of Long Island and the Five Boroughs of New York City.

No, we do not.  The vast majority of people who file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy need the advice and guidance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. We can refer you to an excellent local bankruptcy attorney if you are interested in filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Yes, there are many reputable resources online and in the library to help you get all the information you need to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on your own and without an attorney.  Online we suggest you check out legalconsumer.com for information on which district to file in and what bankruptcy exemptions are available to you.  At the library or bookstore, we highly recommend books by Nolo Publishing, specifically their "How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy" book.  You may also wish to check out some of the Bankruptcy Court websites around the country.  Some are better than others and many have a resource section for those who choose to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy without an attorney.  We now have information on Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filings available online, as well.  Please click on the "About" tab at the top of this page, then click on "Resources" and scroll down the page.  We will be adding additional publicly available Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing information to that page on a regular basis, so check back often!

All Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filers must pass a "Means Test" to determine their eligibility to file for Chapter 7 based on their income, what state they reside in and the number of people in their household.  We have the Means Test form available for you to download on our "Resources" page.  The U.S. Trustee's Office maintains information on the State Median Family Income by Family Size chart.  The figures are revised every six months.  Currently, the U.S. Trustee's Office chart covers cases filed on or after November 1, 2014.  Their website is www.justice.gov.  If you are unsure as to whether you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on your income or other factors, you should seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney.

You may be eligible for low-cost or free legal assistance from the Legal Aid Society in your area, so you should start there first.  The United States Bankruptcy Court Clerk's Office for the Northern District of New York also has free downloadable Chapter 7 Bankruptcy forms available on their website if you want to do it yourself.  And depending upon your financial situation, you may be eligible to have the Consumer Credit Counseling fees waived and/or the court filing fees waived or be allowed to pay your court filing fees in installments.  You can contact the Northern District of New York Bankruptcy Court clerk's office at (518) 257-1661to find out more about their eligibility requirements for fee waivers.

You should store your original will in a safe place, along with your other important papers.  A good quality fireproof safe is an excellent way to store these documents, and they can be purchased relatively inexpensively.  You should let your executor and alternate executor know where your original will and important papers are located, so they can access them and secure them quickly upon your death.  It is generally not advisable for most people to store their original will in a safe deposit box at the bank.  Your safe deposit box will be sealed by the bank upon your death, so your executor may not be able to access the box in a timely manner after your death.

It is never a good idea to write on or mark up your original will document.  Crossing things out and re-writing the language on the original copy of your will could possibly invalidate the document.  If you would like to make changes to your will, note the changes on a separate sheet of paper prior to having a new one prepared.

Yes, whenever we are open we usually have a Notary Public on staff. If you are a We the People NY customer, all Notarization of you documents is included free of charge. If you are not currently a We the People NY customer, we charge $2.00 per Notary Public signature in cash only. You must sign the document in our presence and provide photo identification.

No, we only handle uncontested civil matters. You should contact a reputable criminal defense attorney in your area.

For our fees, we accept cash, money order, cashier's check, and all credit and debit cards. The County Clerk’s Offices and Courts DO NOT accept credit or debit cards, so you must pay your court filing fees by money order or cashier's check only made payable directly to the appropriate Court or County Clerk.

Yes, our office and the plaza we are located in are fully handicapped accessible, with handicapped parking spaces right outside our door.  We comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act in providing reasonable accommodations to all handicapped individuals.  Please feel free to call our office or e-mail us if you need special help in accessing our services.

The documents we prepare at We the People NY are computerized standard court forms, typed with information you provided and at your direction.  All documents are then rigorously proofread to ensure you receive the highest quality documents available anywhere. Most of our documents are prepared and ready for you to sign within one week, depending upon the document.

It takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to fill out our simple workbooks with all the information we need to prepare  New York Legal Separation Agreement properly. Your agreement will be prepared within 7 to 10 business days, ready for you and your spouse to review and sign.

We charge $499 to prepare a standard New York Legal Separation Agreement.   If you choose to file your Separation Agreement with the court, there is an additional fee (approximately $10.00) to file a copy of your Separation Agreement in the County Clerk’s Office.

We have more choices now than ever before for you to get started with your Legal Separation Agreement as quickly, easily and affordably as possible. When you are ready to get started with your Legal Separation Agreement at We the People, you can get started over the phone or you may make an appointment & come in to our office . We will have you fill out a set of Legal Separation Agreement workbooks for New York State.  The workbooks are just a way for us to obtain the important information we need about you and your spouse. You may come in together with your spouse, or you may come in on your own to fill out the workbooks and begin the process.

Our fee of $399 is due up front when you are ready to begin filling out our Legal Separation Agreement questionnaire here at our office.

We regularly prepare Legal Separation Agreements for couples in the following New York State counties:

  • Albany County, NY
  • Schenectady County, NY
  • Rensselaer County, NY
  • Saratoga County, NY
  • Washington County, NY
  • Warren County, NY
  • Fulton County, NY
  • Montgomery County, NY
  • Columbia County, NY
  • Greene County, NY
  • Ulster County, NY
  • Schoharie County, NY.

Since New York State has a Unified Court System, we can prepare a Legal Separation Agreement for couples living in any county in New York State.