New York Divorce & Separation

If you are seeking a divorce in New York, you will want to know the laws and rules governing this process. What are the requirements for getting a divorce in New York? Will mediation be required in order to get a New York divorce? What is the law on New York annulments? Find the answers to your New York divorce questions here.

New York Legal Separation:
Permanent or temporary legal separations may be sought in New York on the basis of cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, failure to support, adultery, and/or confinement of the defendant for three or more years after the marriage.

Grounds for Divorce/Fault - No Fault:
New York recognizes fault-based grounds for divorce, including cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment for over one year, imprisonment for over three years (after the marriage contract begins), and adultery. New York is the only state in the U.S. that does not recognize any no-fault grounds (such as incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, etc).

Residency/Where to File for Divorce:

The NY State Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the parties to a divorce, and it has set the following residency conditions:

  1. One or both spouses must be a resident at the time the divorce action is commenced, and one or both must have resided in the state for at least one year prior to the filing of the action;
  2. If the grounds for the divorce occurred in New York, then both spouses must simply be New York residents at the time the action is commenced;
  3. If the marriage ceremony, cohabitation, and grounds for divorce all took place outside of New York, then one spouse must reside in New York at the time of the filing of the divorce action, and he/she must have been a resident for at least two years before filing.

New York Online Divorce Services:

LegalZoom.com – An online documentation service that helps users file for divorce.
CompleteCase.com– Offers an affordable way to file for uncontested divorces online.

Divorce Mediation in New York:
A mediation session may be called to resolve matters that are still contested but will ultimately be solved with less acrimony in this environment compared to the litigation environment. Any mediation session where children are involved is held in order to ensure the children are taken care of despite the parents' differences.

New York Annulment:
Annulment in New York differs from divorce or legal separation proceedings in that the annulment declares the marriage to have been invalid, such that it never properly existed in the first place. Thus, a divorce or legal separation is unnecessary. Annulments are granted under a very limited set of circumstances: generally, fraud (i.e. - a substantial and intentional misrepresentation, upon which the annulment petitioner's consent to marry was predicated). The discovery of the fraud must be proven even if the defendant admits guilt.

Grounds for annulment often approved in other states, such as failure to consummate, marriage less than one year, bigamy and double marriage, do not function for annulment in New York. In cases of bigamy, a party can still file a petition seeking an "Action to Declare the Nullity of a Void Marriage", which results in an official statement that the marriage is void (though it does not void the marriage). See an attorney for more help deciphering New York's annulment laws and other grounds for divorce.

New York Divorce Laws
New York Divorce Law, Lawyers & Attorneys
New York Divorce & Finances
New York Divorce & Children
New York Divorce Resources & Statutes