Divorce is always a difficult time in life, no matter how long your marriage lasted.
In New York, the same laws apply to all marriages of couples who meet the residency requirements. The state recognizes fault and no-fault grounds for divorce.
No-fault grounds divorce in New York
You are eligible to seek a no-fault divorce in New York if you and your spouse separated at least a year ago. Alternatively, if you cite an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage going back at least six months, you can file for a no-fault divorce in the state. Lastly, couples living apart for a minimum of one year can seek a divorce after filing a separation agreement.
Fault-based divorce in New York
When one spouse believes the other is to blame for the deterioration of the union, he or she can seek a divorce based on fault. These divorces require proof that the other party caused the marital breakdown. Fault-based divorces typically take longer and cost more due to the need to prove fault at trial. The spouse not deemed at fault can benefit from this additional time during custody and property decision-making. New York allows at-fault divorces based on the following grounds:
- abandonment for over one year
- imprisonment for three or more years
- mental or physical abuse
No one goes into a marriage with the expectation of divorce, but the reality is that it happens frequently in today’s society. Understanding your state’s laws can help you make smart choices as you embark upon this challenging journey.