Navigating A Path Through The New York Divorce Process
For most people, the divorce process is foreign territory. Perhaps you have had friends or family members go through a divorce, but you were likely not involved in the details. You may not know where to start, much less where you can expect to be at the end. An experienced New York divorce lawyer can help you navigate the right path to achieve your legal goals.
The family law firm of The Prince Law Group, LLC, represents clients throughout the New York metro area from our office in Westchester County. Our attorneys have decades of combined family law experience. We understand the steps you need to take for a successful outcome in your divorce.
What Are The Requirements To Get A Divorce?
In order to start the divorce process in New York, you must meet a residency requirement. You can meet that with any of the following scenarios:
- At least one of you must have lived in the state for the past 24 months
- You were married in the state and one of you has lived here for at least 12 months, including at the time of filing
- You have lived as a married couple in the state and one of you has lived here for at least 12 months, including at the time of filing
- The legal grounds for the divorce occurred in New York and you are both residents of the state at the time of filing
- The legal grounds for the divorce occurred in New York and at least one of you has lived here for the past 12 months
You must also state your reason – or legal grounds – for the divorce. New York allows both fault-based and no-fault divorce. With a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse allege that your marriage has “broken down irretrievably” for at least six months. You do not have to be separated for that time, but the judge may ask you to complete other steps.
In a fault-based divorce, you or your spouse allege that the other party has caused the divorce through certain actions. These actions may include adultery, domestic violence or imprisonment. You may also divorce after a legal separation.
Do You Need To Prove Fault In A New York Divorce?
Proving fault is not necessary for New York courtrooms, and has been since 2010. These no-fault courtrooms allow for a court to end a marriage without the requirement that one of the spouses has to prove a spouse is at-fault.
What Are The Steps To A Divorce?
Once you meet the requirements, you may begin the process. New York law requires you to follow these steps:
- Serve your spouse with a summons and complaint
- Your spouse may then respond to the complaint
- File the necessary documents
- Request a court date
- Attend mediation, if required
- Attend the court hearing
Remember that at any point in this process, you may choose to negotiate a settlement agreement with your spouse. You may also avoid much of the legal hassle with the court by using the collaborative divorce process, as long as you and your spouse are both willing to work through your differences outside of court.