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

Published On: July 2, 2021Categories: Divorce

Hudson Valley divorce lawyerA new “cooling off” law passed in China has resulted in a more than 70 percent drop in the country’s divorce rate. The new law went into effect January 1 and requires couples who file for divorce to wait 30 days after they submit their application before that application proceeds. During that waiting period, either spouse can withdraw the application, which then requires the couple to reapply once again after the 30 days is up. According to recently released data, only 296,000 divorce applications were received in the first quarter of this year, compared to more than one million applications filed in the final quarter of 2020.

If you are considering filing for divorce in New York, you may be wondering what type of waiting period you may be facing and what other requirements the state has. The following is a brief overview. To learn more information about your specific situation, a Rockland County divorce attorney from our office can help.

Residency Requirements for Filing a New York Divorce

In order to file for a divorce in the state of New York, there are certain residency requirements that a couple must meet. One or more of the following must apply:

  • The couple was married in the state and one spouse has resided in New York for at least one year.

  • The couple lived in the state while they were married and one or both spouses has lived in New York for at least one year.

  • One or both spouses has lived in New York for at least two years.

  • The grounds cited in the divorce petition occurred in the state and one or both spouses lived in New York at the time the petition was filed.

New York does not have any formal waiting period once a petition has been filed.

Grounds for Filing a New York Divorce

Once it has been established that New York is the state that the divorce should be filed in, then the next step is determining whether or not the divorce will be filed as a fault divorce or a no-fault divorce.

If a spouse (plaintiff) files a fault divorce against the other spouse (defendant), then they must have “grounds” to do so. Issues that the court will recognize as valid grounds for ending a marriage are:

  • The defendant spouse has exhibited cruelty, including physical and emotional abuse, towards the plaintiff spouse.

  • The defendant spouse will be in prison for at least three years.

  • The defendant spouse has abandoned the plaintiff spouse for at least one year.

  • The defendant spouse has committed adultery.

With a no-fault divorce, the couple do not need to establish grounds to end their marriage. The only requirement is:

  • The couple has been separated for at least one year, or

  • They have been separated for at least six months and there has been an “irretrievable breakdown” of their marriage.

Contact a Hudson Valley Area Divorce Lawyer

Once the decision to divorce has been made, there are a myriad of issues that may need to be decided, including child custody, division of marital assets and debt, and child support. Even what appears to be an agreeable and simple divorce can quickly turn contentious and complex.

If you are considering ending your marriage, make sure you are protected by working with a seasoned Rockland County divorce attorney. Call the Law Offices of Robert S. Lewis, P.C. at 845-358-7100 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.