Overview of Divorce in New York

Many people love New York State, either to visit or as a place to live.  However, there aren’t many people who are very thrilled with how the divorce process is handled in New York—even divorce lawyers have been known to complain about one particular aspect of the New York divorce laws.

Grounds for Divorce in New York

This is the part of New York divorce laws that people dislike.  New York is the only state in the United States that does not allow for ‘no-fault’ divorces or divorces that are based upon ‘incompatibility.’  Every other state in the country allows this as a reason for divorce; yet the state of New York will not hear of it.  Instead, here are the grounds which can be claimed for divorce in New York:

  • Cruel and inhuman treatment to a degree such that plaintiff feels her physical or mental well-being is threatened.  For these grounds, the plaintiff needs to feel it is unsafe to live with the defendant.
  • Abandonment for one year or more
  • Imprisonment for one year or more after getting married
  • Adultery
  • Living separate and apart for one year or more
If you are in need of legal assistance, consult with an Divorce Attorney in New York to receive a free case review.

Some divorce lawyers use the last grounds—living separate and apart for one year or more—as a way around obtaining a ‘no-fault’ divorce for their clients.  This ground is the simplest one to prove and the easiest one through which clients can get a divorce granted.

When to File for Divorce in New York?

New York has a somewhat complicated set of rules under which a person can file for divorce in the state.  A person must meet at least one of these following situations:

  • The couple was married in New York.  Additionally, one spouse is a resident of the state when the divorce action is begun and has been a resident for at least one year prior to the divorce filing.
  • The couple has lived in New York when married.  Plus, at least one member of the couple was a New York resident when the divorce action was filed and has been for at least one year.
  • The grounds for the divorce occurred in New York.  Also, one or both spouses have lived in the state for at least one year prior to filing for divorce.
  • At least one spouse has been a New York resident for two years before the divorce was filed.


For more information about divorce and child custody in New York, and your specific situation, contact a local divorce attorney.

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