The Divorce Process in Brooklyn, NY
New York State Residency and Grounds Requirements for Divorce
Our Brooklyn divorce lawyers at Arnel Law Firm have been helping clients with their divorce proceedings for over 35 years. We recognize that it is not always easy to navigate a divorce, however, with the right divorce lawyer, it is manageable. Here is how to file for a divorce in Brooklyn, NY:
First, we ask that our clients meet the New York state residency requirements to file for a divorce. There are a few ways to meet these requirements:
- Either you or your spouse must have been living in the state of New York continuously for at least two years before filing for the divorce.
- Either you or your spouse must have been living in the state continuously for at least one year before the start of the divorce case and
- You got married in New York, you lived in New York as a married couple, or the grounds for your divorce took place in New York.
Additionally, there must be grounds for the divorce. There are seven, legally acceptable grounds for a divorce:
- Breakdown in the marriage for a period of at least six months
- Jail time
- Separation agreement of one year
- Judgment of separation
The timeline for a divorce in New York depends on three factors: how soon you can file your paperwork, how quickly your spouse returns the paperwork, and how fast the judge can sign the final judgement of divorce (this depends on judge availability).
In the event that your divorce is contested, or you and your spouse are unable to come to a mutual agreement about your divorce, your divorce will take more time to finalize.
Timeline for a Contested Divorce
File a summons: One spouse (the petitioner) will file a Summons and Complaint or Summons with Notice with the county clerk’s office to solidify his/her decision to end the marriage. The petitioner then has 120 days to serve this summons to the other spouse (the defendant).
Serve the divorce papers: The petitioner has up to 120 days once the summons has been filed to serve the defendant. The defendant has around 20 to 30 days to respond to this summons and agree to the terms or contest them.
File a Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI): Once you have filed for a divorce and received a response from the defendant, then you will file a Request for Judicial Intervention. This document is an official agreement between both spouses and asks that the court set up a preliminary conference date within 45 days.
File a statement of net worth: Each spouse must file a net worth statement no later than ten days before the preliminary conference date.
Set a preliminary conference date: This must be set within 45 days of the RJI filing. On this day, the court will discuss the divorce, determine any potential issues, and decide on an official hearing date.
Discovery period: The attorneys will gather evidence against each side to build a case for their clients. This period must be completed within six months of the preliminary conference date.
Schedule a divorce trial: The judge will issue a ruling after this trial.
Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced divorce attorneys.