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What Are the Requirements for Getting a Divorce in New York?

In order to file for divorce in New York, you have to meet a residency requirement, have a grounds for (reason for) the divorce, and get the right legal paperwork. As for the residency requirement, there are four different ways to fulfill this. One is that one of you has been living in New York for a minimum of two years straight. Or you could both become residents of New York by the day you file for the divorce, and the grounds for your divorce happened in New York. Another option is that you have both been living in New York for at least one continuous year and the grounds for your divorce was in New York. Finally, you could have married in New York or lived as a married couple in New York, and at least one of you has lived for the past year in New York.

In New York, you could have a fault-based reason (grounds) for divorce, or you could also file for a no-fault divorce. If you need to file for a divorce because of "marital misconduct", then this would be filing for a fault-based divorce. The grounds for this type of divorce include: cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, imprisonment, and adultery. Another legal reason for a fault divorce is that a couple has lived apart from one another under a legal separation agreement or a court-ordered separation.

To get a no-fault divorce, all that is necessary is to say that there has been an "irretrievable breakdown of the relationship" for at least the past six months. A no-fault divorce requires the person who initiated the divorce (the plaintiff) to swear under oath that this breakdown has occurred. Then both the plaintiff and the defendant would need to reach an agreement on matters such as finances and custody in order for a judge to approve the divorce.

To actually initiate the divorce, then the plaintiff spouse needs to file a Summons with Notice or a Summons and Verified Complaint. If the defendant spouse agrees to file for the divorce, then the plaintiff could give him or her an Affidavit of the Defendant to fill out. Once the defendant spouse has finished and submitted this paperwork, then an uncontested divorce could ensue.

If you have questions about getting a divorce in New York, or if you are looking for the legal counsel you need to navigate this complex and vital process, contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. An experienced Long Island divorce lawyer from our firm has the dedication and skill you deserve to have on your side. Learn how we may be able to help you achieve as swift and painless a divorce as possible when you call us today!