What is the Divorce Process in New York?

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Many couples face the prospect of divorce. Because every couple is different, every divorce is different. Some are quick and easy, others are long and drawn out. Regardless, a divorce can be a difficult and emotional experience. That is why it is best to educate yourself on the journey ahead. Read on to learn about the divorce process in New York State.

Residency Requirement

If you wish to file for divorce in the state of New York, you must fulfill one of the following residency requirements:

  • You or your spouse have lived in New York State for at least two years, uninterrupted.
  • You or your spouse have lived in NYS in the year before the divorce case and you either were married in New York, lived in the state as a married couple, or the grounds for divorce occurred within state lines.
  • Both spouses are NYS residents on the day of filing.

Grounds for Divorce

Once you have fulfilled the residency requirement, you will need to cite grounds for your divorce. New York is a no-fault state, meaning you can cite irretrievable breakdown for a period of 6 months or more. Most couples choose to cite irretrievable breakdown because it may make the divorce process simpler, but you can also cite any of the following fault grounds:

  • Adultery
  • Imprisonment
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Abandonment
  • Divorce after a legal separation agreement
  • Divorce after a judgment of separation

The Steps of the Process

  • Complaint for Divorce
    • In this document, you will cite the grounds for divorce and request any relief you may need (child support, child custody, spousal maintenance, legal fees, etc.).
  • Discovery
    • Parties will exchange information with each other and with the court to paint a clear picture of the financial situation of the marriage.
  • Compliance Conference
    • This conference ensures that all parties have the information and resources they need to move forward with the process.
  • Potential Trial
    • Some couples do not go to trial and instead resolve matters of their divorce outside of court. This can occur through mediation. Mediation involves a neutral third party helping couples navigate the contested matters of their divorce. If mediation is not possible, a divorce may be litigated. This means a judge will make decisions regarding your divorce. These decisions can be appealed by you or your spouse.
  • Finalization
    • Once all outstanding matters are resolved, your divorce can be finalized with a Judgment of Divorce. This document will include the terms of the divorce.

Regardless of the path your divorce takes, you will need skilled and knowledgeable legal assistance.


Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. Our firm understands the impact a divorce can have on your life. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, please do not hesitate to contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.

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