Filing For a New York Divorce

couple looking away from each other

Preparing to get divorced may leave you feeling overwhelmed, but it's normal to have many questions about the entire process. Our New York divorce lawyers are here to provide clear answers about the process of filing for a New York divorce and more.

Starting the Divorce Process

To start the divorce process, you will need to submit several key documents to the court. 

You will need to file the following documents:

  • “Summons With Notice” or the “Summons”

  • Verified Complaint

When filing, you will need to state that you meet the residency requirements for divorce in New York as well as the grounds for divorce. The complexity of your case will depend on whether you are filing for a contested or uncontested divorce, In either situation, it’s always in your best interest to speak with a New York divorce attorney first.

New York State Divorce Residency Requirements

When you file for divorce in New York, you need to ensure that you meet the state residency requirements.

To fulfill the residency requirement, one of the following must apply:

  • You or your spouse have lived in New York continuously for a minimum of two years prior to filing for divorce.

  • You or your spouse have lived in New York continuously for a minimum of one year prior to filing for divorce. Additionally, you a) got married in New York, or b) lived as a married couple in New York or c) grounds for divorce occurred in New York.

  • You and your spouse are New York State residents on the day your divorce begins, and the grounds for divorce happened in New York.

Grounds For Divorce In New York State

Another aspect of the divorce process is filing grounds for divorce, which are legal reasons as to why the marriage is ending. These can be fault or no-fault based. In New York, establishing fault grounds for a divorce is not required. If filing under fault-based grounds, evidence of the fault will need to be shown in order for it to be recognized.

According to New York’s Domestic Relations Law § 170, there are seven legally acceptable reasons or grounds for divorce in New York State, including:

1. Irretrievable breakdown of a relationship for a minimum period of six months

2. Cruel or inhumane treatment

3. Imprisonment

4. Adultery

5. Abandonment

6. Divorce following legal separation

7. Divorce following a judgment of separation

Submitting Your Forms

After you have filled out the necessary paperwork with the court, you will need to make two additional copies for you and your spouse. Then you will need to bring the forms to your county clerk’s office and file them as well as pay the filing fee.

Serving the Divorce Papers

After your paperwork is correctly filed, you will need to serve your spouse with a copy of the summons and complaint within 120 days of your filing date. Additionally, the form for your spouse’s response to the divorce should be included.

Your attorney or another court-approved individual can deliver these papers to your spouse. However, they must be personally delivered to them, which means directly handing the documents over to your spouse.

Your spouse will then have to either agree to the terms or they can contest them. Once this is completed, you can continue on with the process of divorce.

At this point, you will need to gather information regarding:

  • Finances

  • Property and assets

  • Debt

  • Information about your children if applicable

  • Information about you and your spouse

  • Any other relevant information about your marriage

Along with this information, there will be a series of complicated forms and paperwork to fill out. Now, the main goal is to reach a settlement with your spouse. If your spouse agrees on all divorce matters like property division, child custody and support, and spousal maintenance then you can start finalizing your paperwork.

If your spouse doesn’t agree to the terms of the divorce, then you will have to go through litigation or mediation until you reach a favorable outcome for both you and your spouse.

Don’t Go Through the Divorce Process Alone

The New York divorce process can be confusing to navigate. From filling out court forms to reaching an agreement on all divorce matters with your spouse, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the process. On top of this, complicated paperwork can be tricky to understand, but it’s crucial that they are properly filled out. If there are any mistakes in your divorce paperwork, the process can be prolonged. An experienced New York divorce attorney can help make sure all documents are filled out accurately and filed correctly.

If you have any questions about starting the divorce process, don't hesitate to contact the New York divorce attorneys at Eiges & Orgel today. At our firm, we are dedicated to helping New York residents navigate the divorce process. We work hard to make sure your rights and best interests are always protected.

Concerned about filing for divorce? Speak to our skilled attorneys today at (347) 848-1850.

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