Laws, Rates and "Ease of Divorce" - How New York Stacks Up

Did you know that New York has one of the lowest divorce rates in the United States? This could be because it is not necessarily an easy process, as compared to other states. A helpful report and comparison of laws, rates and filing fees can offer insight regarding divorce basics in New York.

Currently, the annual divorce rate in New York is 7 per 1,000 residents, the second-lowest in the country behind New Jersey, which has a rate of 6 per 1,000 residents. Several other states also have a 7/1000 divorce rate, including Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. The state with the highest divorce rate is Alaska, at 14 per 1,000 residents.

There are several factors that may influence a particular state's divorce rate. Divorce laws, filing fees and the subsequent "ease of divorce" in the state may influence whether married couples file for divorce. In FindTheBest has given Alaska, as an example, an "ease of divorce" score of 100, meaning it would be the easiest to get divorced in that state. This score is based on the sum of divorce waiting periods required by the state as well as filing fees. In Alaska, filing fees are listed at $150 and the minimum total processing time is 30 days.

In comparison, New York has an "ease of divorce" score of 30, the seventh-lowest listed. Filing fees are listed at $335, the fifth-highest of all states, and the minimum total processing time is listed at 360 days.

Here is some more basic information regarding divorces in New York:

  • The state allows for judicial separation. Also referred to as legal separation, this allows a married couple to draft an agreement that allows them to live legally separate without dissolving the marriage.
  • One or both spouses must have resided in New York for at least 12 months to file in the state.
  • There is no waiting period for a person to file for divorce in New York. In some states, a couple must have been married for a certain amount of time in order to file.
  • As of 2010, New York allows for no-fault divorce on the basis of an "irretrievable breakdown" of the marriage, for at least six months. Divorce may also be granted on the basis of legal separation for at least 12 months or fault, which may include cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, imprisonment or adultery.
  • Property division will be determined on an equitable basis. While in some states property is considered community property and divided 50/50 between divorcing spouses, in New York it will be divided in what is considered a fair basis.
  • The determination of spousal support (often referred to as "alimony")is conducted based on a set list of guidelines and may include consideration of such factors as standard of living and child custody.
  • Child custody will be determined based on the child's best interests and may include taking the following factors into consideration: the child's wishes, domestic violence (if any), each parent's living situation, the amount of time spent with the child by each parent, and more.

Interested in learning more about divorce in New York? With extensive experience in this complex area of law, a New York City divorce lawyer at Eiges & Orgel, PLLC may be able to help you get the answers you need to make informed choices about your case. Because legal issues and complicated financial matters are involved, you may benefit from involving a professional who can protect your interests. Call today!

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