Divorce law can change in the blink of an eye and New York divorce law is certainly no exception. Filing for divorce in New York can be a bit more complicated than consulting to fill out a few forms. Certain counties may require additional forms. Before you seek a divorce in New York, contact the Supreme Court in your county to find out the process.
What You Need to Know About Filing for Divorce in New York
New York divorce law allows divorce based on these 7 grounds:
- Irretrievable Breakdown – When your relastionship with your spouse has been broken down for at least 6 months. The court will only grant a divorce on these grounds if issues like property, custody, visitation, and support have been decided.
- Cruel and Inhuman Treatment – This indicates that you are in danger of physical or mental abuse at the hands of your spouse. If the abuse occurred more than 5 years ago, you cannot be granted a divorce settlement on these grounds.
- Abandonment – Your spouse has been absent for a least a year, left you, kicked you out, and has no intention of returning.
- Imprisonment – Your spouse has been imprisoned for at least 3 years or more. You cannot file for divorce on these grounds if your spouse was released from incarceration more than 5 years ago.
- Adultery – This one is rather complicated. You cannot file for divorce on these grounds if you encourage your spouse to commit adultury, have sexual relations with them after the fact, or commit adultery yourself. It cannot be more than 5 years since you found out about the adultery, and you must have a witness besides yourself to testify the adultery occurred.
- Judgment of Separation – This one is unusual. You must not have lived with your spouse for at least 1 year due to a decree or judgment of separation from the court. Most people go directly for the divorce in this case because the Judgment of Separation requires almost as much proof as full divorce.
- Separation Agreement – You have not lived with your spouse for a least a year as per a mutual separation agreement signed before a notary. This is also sometimes called a “conversion divorce” because it is easy to convert into a full divorce.
The divorce process is handled by the New York State Supreme Court in your local county. Before you can obtain a divorce in New York, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 1 year. In order to make filing for divorce in New York as smooth as possible, try to establish agreement with your spouse over property, custody, visitation, and support before you file.
Iron out any kinks in Family Court before you pursue grounds for divorce. This will make the divorce process a lot less stressful. If your spouse is uncooperative, seek help from a domestic violence advocate before you stir things up too much.
2016 Updates to New York Divorce Law
As you might imagine, New York divorce law has a lot of moving parts. The updates in legislation so far this year have mostly surrounded matrimonial law as it pertains to child support. Here are the highlights:
- New and Revised Forms for Use in Matrimonial Actions in Supreme Court by Administrative Order. These were revisions to forms involving 2 laws from 2015, one of which pertains to the maintenance in child support calculations.
- Revised Instructions and Forms for Use in Matrimonial Actions in Supreme Court by Administrative Order. These revised forms allows for an increase in the annual income cap of the maintenance payor from $125,000 to $128,000.
- Revised Instructions and Forms for Use in Matrimonial Actions in Supreme Court by Administrative Order. These revisions reflect a required increase in income cap as it pertains to the Child Support Standards Act. This order also allowed for revisions to instructions outlining increases in both the Self Support Reserve and Poverty Level Income for a single person.
These updates may all seem the same or related, but they are really nuts and bolts in the grander scheme. The best way to approach New York Divorce Law is by finding a reputable guide to help you through the divorce process.