What Are the Legal Requirements to File for Divorce in NY?

Getting a divorce can be a challenging experience and understanding what the legal requirements are in New York can simplify the process, especially when you are considering filing to begin it. The state has residency requirements that apply no matter what type of divorce you are filing for. It also involves additional criteria depending on whether you are opting for a no-fault or a fault-based divorce.

If you and your spouse meet the legal requirements to file for divorce in New York, you may pursue either an uncontested or contested divorce depending on your situation. An uncontested divorce means that both parties agree on all matters pertaining to the termination of the marriage while a contested divorce involves some disagreement. Even conflict over one issue in a divorce makes the process a contested one.

Residency Requirements to File for Divorce in New York

New York requires you to meet one of the following criteria to file for divorce in the state:

  • At least one spouse has lived in New York for at least two years leading up to filing for divorce
  • You and your spouse lived in New York as a married couple and at least one spouse has been a resident for at least one year
  • You and your spouse got married in the state and at least one of you has been a resident for at least one year

If you file for a fault-based divorce, at least one party must have lived in New York for a minimum of 12 months. In addition to this basic residency requirement, the ground(s) you choose for the termination of your marriage must have occurred in the state.

No-Fault Divorce Eligibility Criteria

If you and your spouse are looking to file for a no-fault divorce, you must meet one of those three criteria:

  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for at least six months
  • Legal separation for one year or more

The legal separation option can involve either entering a separation agreement or filing for a court-ordered judicial separation.

Acceptable Grounds for Fault-Based Divorces

The state of New York recognizes the following grounds for a fault-based divorce:

  • Abandonment for at least one year
  • Adultery
  • Cruel mistreatment such as physical and/or emotional abuse
  • Incarceration for at least three years

You may use mention one or more legal grounds when filing for a fault-based divorce. If you are unsure what may apply to your situation, consulting a divorce lawyer can help you determine what option to choose.

​Hire Arnel Law Firm as Your Divorce Attorney in Brooklyn or Its Surrounding Areas

No matter how straightforward and amicable your divorce might be, you should always hire a reputable divorce attorney to protect your rights and interests. At Arnel Law Firm, we provide personalized counsel and representation to meet your unique circumstances and goals. We are committed to staying up to date with any change to state laws that may affect divorces. Our lawyers can ensure that you meet all the requirements and deadlines to keep the process as smooth as possible. We prioritize open and honest communication to support you throughout your divorce whether you resolve concerns through mediation or litigation.

We can guide you through all aspects of the termination of your marriage, from your initial consultation to discuss your options to the final ruling. Our team can help you negotiate equitable property division, alimony, child custody and visitation, child support, and any other component of a parenting plan if you and your spouse share one or more minor children. We also remain available to assist you if you need to file for court order modification after a judge finalizes your divorce.

If you are considering filing for divorce in Brooklyn or its surrounding areas, contact Arnel Law Firm today at (718) 550-3024 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.