Sumter, SC asked in Divorce and Family Law for New York

Q: do I need attorney to get deceased husbands divorce decree for pension plan?

Husband passed away 6/ 2023 and his pension plan has requested his Divorce decree from a marriage that ended in 1999. the divorce took place in Westchester County, NY. Will I need to get a court order to get it or is it something I can do myself.

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2 Lawyer Answers
T. Augustus Claus
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A: Yes, you will need to get a court order ("certified copy") to obtain a copy of your deceased husband's divorce decree from Westchester County, NY. The pension plan requests this document to verify your marital status as the surviving spouse and beneficiary of the pension plan.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of internet questions and responses, the information provided can ONLY be for general informational purposes and cannot constitute legal advice.

James L. Arrasmith
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A: In New York, divorce decrees are typically public records, and you should be able to obtain a copy without needing an attorney. Since the divorce occurred in Westchester County, you can request the divorce decree from the Westchester County Clerk's office. You will need to provide specific information about the divorce, such as the names of both parties and the date of the divorce. There may be a fee associated with obtaining a copy of the decree.

It's advisable to contact the county clerk's office directly for detailed instructions on how to request the document. If you encounter any difficulties or if the process becomes complex, then consulting an attorney might be beneficial. However, for a straightforward request like this, obtaining the decree is generally a process you can handle on your own. Remember, timely retrieval of this document is important for dealing with the pension plan requirements.

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