How Does the Divorce Process Work in New York State?

Divorce is stressful. On top of the emotional toll divorce may take, you will also find yourself having to wade through several legal matters in order to make your divorce final. This is why it is so important to hire an experienced, compassionate attorney to help you along the way. If you decide that getting a divorce is the best option, there are several things you need to know about the process before you begin. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the residency requirements?

Essentially, if you want to get a divorce in New York State, you will have to satisfy certain residency requirements first. Here are the three residency requirements you are required to meet:

  • You or your spouse have lived in the state without interruption for a minimum of two years
  • You or your spouse have lived in the state in the year before the divorce case and you either got married in New York, lived in New York as a married couple, or the grounds for the divorce happened in New York
  • Both spouses are residences on the day of filing.

If you and your spouse can satisfy these requirements, then you should qualify for a divorce in New York State.

What are grounds for divorce?

“Fault grounds” are the specific reasons you may cite in filing for divorce. Some of these fault grounds are as follows:

  • Irreconcilable differences for at least 6 months
  • Adultery
  • Imprisonment
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Domestic abuse
  • Divorce after a legal separation agreement
  • Divorce after a judgment of separation

While being a victim of domestic abuse is an extremely serious matter, it is often advised that you do not cite fault grounds in your case. This is because New York is what is known as a “no-fault” state. This means you have the option to file for a “no-fault” divorce. If you cite fault grounds, you give your spouse a chance to contest them, which may turn an already stressful process into a far longer and expensive one. Additionally, with few exceptions, citing fault grounds rarely has any sort of an impact on the result of your case.

How do you start the divorce process in New York State?

The process starts with a Complaint for Divorce. Here, you will state the grounds for divorce and the support you may need to continue the process. You may qualify for some relief such as child support, child custody, spousal maintenance, and legal fees. Therefore, if you are a dependent spouse, this will protect you from any sort of financial intimidation. Next, there will be a discovery period and a Compliance Conference. This is where both spouses must submit sensitive financial information to achieve a clear picture of how the marriage functions financially. The Compliance Conference ensures that all parties have the information they need to move forward with the trial. If a trial cannot be avoided in a contested divorce, the parties will meet in court, where the trial will address said contested issues. Once both parties conclude their arguments, the judge will decide on the matters at hand. Once the judge decides on the contested topics, he or she will issue a Judgement of Divorce, containing the judge’s decision and the obligations of both parties. You may appeal the case if you are unhappy with the outcome, at the present or in the future.

Contact a New York attorney

If you or someone you know is seeking an experienced attorney for a divorce case, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.

Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today for a free consultation.