In August 2010, the divorce law in the State of New York changed. New York now recognizes a no-fault divorce, whereas before 2010 only fault-based criteria separations or divorces were recognized. However, today, New York recognizes both no-fault and at-fault divorces. When you visit law firms in New York such as Tully Rinckey PLLC, you may learn more about your unique divorce situation.
Seven Grounds for Divorce in New York
Only the New York State Supreme Court can grant a divorce. The Court recognizes seven grounds for divorce:
Irretrievable breakdown means that your relationship with your spouse has become broken for at least six months and is irretrievable. This is the no-fault grounds and may only be used if your relationship broke down after 2010. Before your divorce is granted it is important to decide and settle the division of property, child custody and visitation rights, spousal and child support
Abandonment by one spouse for at least a year is required to be grounds for a divorce. Abandonment means the spouse has left or been kicked out and there is no possibility that he or she will return
Cruel and inhuman treatment by one spouse that will cause the physical and mental health of the other spouse to deteriorate if they continue to live with the offending spouse
Adultery committed by one spouse may be grounds if the other spouse does not forgive the adultery, does not also commit adultery or did not encourage the spouse to commit adultery. The spouse requesting a divorce on the basis of adultery must have a witness to testify to prove adultery
A Separation Agreement in writing which states that the couple agrees not to live together for a period of at least one year. Both parties must sign the agreement. All of the conditions stated in the agreement must be obeyed by both parties. With a Separation Agreement it may be possible to get a conversion divorce. This means after following the agreement for a year, it can be changed into a divorce. A Separation Agreement can also make it easier and faster if either spouse wants a divorce on other grounds.
A Judgement of Separation that requires the couple to live apart for at least one year is often skipped by people because they go directly to apply for divorce, but the option is still there.
Other New York Requirements
There are residency requirements for getting a divorce in New York. At least one of the spouses must have lived in New York State for at least one year before filing for divorce. There are also laws for dividing property in New York. The property should be divided equitably. The court will divide the marital property as fairly as possible. It is usually divided in half, but may not always be done in this manner.
If one spouse files for divorce, the other spouse will be served with divorce papers. When the papers are served the spouse must reply in writing within 20 days. It is recommended to get a lawyer to help frame the response. In some cases, the court can make the spouse who filed for divorce pay for a lawyer for the other spouse.
Whether you are filing for a divorce, or your spouse has filed for divorce from you, it is recommended to get the help of a qualified attorney to solve the problem quickly and to your best advantage.