New York Divorce Law

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New York Divorce Guidelines

New York's Residency Requirements

The petitioner must have been a New York resident for 1 year before filing for divorce if:

  • the spouses were married in New York and one spouse is still a New York resident
  • the spouses resided in New York and one spouse is still a New York resident
  • the grounds for divorce occurred in New York

The petitioner must have been a New York resident for 2 years before filing for divorce if only one spouse resides in New York.

However, there is no residency requirement if both spouses were New York residents when the grounds for divorce occurred, and when the divorce forms were filed.

New York's Grounds for Divorce

New York residents may file for divorce under fault or no-fault grounds.

New York's no-fault grounds is:

  • the spouses have lived separate and apart for one year under a written, notarized separation agreement
  • the spouses have lived separate and apart for one year under a judicial separation decree
  • the marriage has broken down irretrievably for 6 months or longer

New York's fault grounds include:

  • abandonment for one year or more
  • adultery
  • cruel and inhuman treatment
  • imprisonment for 3 or more consecutive years
 

New York's Child Custody Guidelines

Divorcing parents are allowed to collaborate on a child custody arrangement. If the parents cannot reach a decision, a New York court will make a ruling.

New York courts consider factors such as:

  • any evidence or history of abuse or violence in each parent
 

New York's Child Support Guidelines

If the parents cannot agree on the amount of child support and the paying parent, child support will be decided by state-specific calculations and guidelines.

New York courts consider factors such as:

  • the standard of living the child was accustomed to
  • the custodial status of each parent
  • each parent's financial situation
  • the child's physical, mental, and emotional health
 

New York's Spousal Support Guidelines

Spousal support can be paid in one lump sum, in installments, or periodically. The spouses may determine the spousal support amount and payment schedule, or the courts may award spousal support.

New York courts consider factors such as:

  • duration of the marriage
  • each spouse's current and future earning capabilities
  • whether one spouse will lose health insurance after the divorce
  • whether one spouse supported or contributed to the other spouse's career, or to the home
 

New York's Property Division Guidelines

New York has adopted equitable distribution guidelines, which means all property (including gifts and inheritances) will be divided as fairly and equally as possible. Spouses may collaborate on the property distribution, but if they are unable to agree the courts will make a ruling.

New York courts consider factors such as:

  • duration of the marriage
  • custodial status of each spouse
  • each spouse's' financial situation before and after the marriage
  • each spouse's contribution to the property
 

New York's Venue Guidelines

A petitioner may file the divorce forms in their New York county of residence, or in the respondent's New York county of residence.

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  • 3. File the Documents:

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