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New York Divorce Laws: FAQ

Deciding that your marriage is over usually comes with the choice to get a divorce. For people who live in New York, there are residency requirements and other factors to consider when filing for the Matrimonial Action known as a divorce. This filing must be done with the New York State Supreme Court since that is the only court that handles these cases in New York.

When filing for a divorce, the plaintiff has to buy an Index Number from the County Clerk. A Summons and Verified Complaint or Summons with Notice has to filed with the Supreme Court in the county of residence for either spouse. The defendant must be served with a copy of all paperwork.

What are Grounds for Divorce in New York?

In October of 2010, New York became the last state in the United States to allow a no-fault divorce. In this case, the marriage has to be irretrievably broken for six months prior to filing the petition to get a divorce.

It is also possible for the couple to divorce by using a fault-based divorce. The statutory grounds for this are varied, but include adultery, inhumane treatment, abuse, abandonment, or incarceration. The time limits for each vary from one year to three years, depending on the fault. In a fault divorce, the defendant or plaintiff can request a trial on the issues of the grounds for the divorce.

Is There a Waiting Period?

There is no formal waiting period for the court to grant the divorce after the petition is filed and served. There are three different residency requirements to get a divorce in New York. Only one of the requirements has to be met to file a divorce petition.

One of the residency options is that one of the parties lived in the state for two years. The second is that both parties lived in the state as a married couple and one party has lived there a year. The third option is that the couple was married in New York and at least one spouse has lived in the state for a year.

How is Property Divided in a Divorce?

In New York, the property division is handled on an equitable basis. This means that how the property is divided must be fair not equal. There are some special considerations used by the court in the property division process. One of these is the need for the parent with custody of the children to remain in the marital home. Another is the potential tax implications of decisions made by the court. A third is each party's future financial circumstances.

What About Alimony, Child Support?

The court can order alimony payments and child support payments if the circumstances warrant those support payments after the divorce. Several factors, including the income of each spouse and the specific needs of each spouse, play a part in the support orders handed down by the court.

When getting a divorce in New York, there are many variables that can affect the outcome. Whether you need a fault-based divorce or a no-fault divorce, it is imperative that you get advice from an experienced divorce attorney to help you learn what to expect throughout the process.

Speak to an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today

This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified divorce lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local divorce attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.

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