The decision to end your marriage can be tricky, even when you know it’s right. While every divorce case is unique, couples must meet specific requirements to initiate divorce proceedings. Divorcing parties must fulfill the residency requirement and determine whether they wish to cite grounds for divorce. Although New York is a true no-fault state, there are still grounds for divorce. Please continue reading to learn what grounds you can cite for divorce in New York and how a knowledgeable Garden City Divorce Lawyer can help you navigate your legal options. 

What Are the Residency Requirements?

As mentioned above, to file for divorce in New York, you must satisfy the residency requirements and have grounds for the divorce. The court can only establish jurisdiction if:

  • The marriage ceremony took place in New York, and either you or your spouse have been living in New York without interruption for one year before the divorce case
  • You and your spouse lived in New York as a married couple for one year before filing for divorce.
  • Although the marriage ceremony did not occur in New York, you or your spouse lived there without interruption for at least two years before starting a divorce case.
  • The reason or grounds for the divorce happened in New York, and either you or your spouse lived in New York for one year before filing for divorce.
  • The reasons for the divorce happened in New York, and when the divorce action started, both you and your spouse resided in New York.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in New York?

New York has two categories of grounds for divorce that couples can choose to cite in their divorce papers as the reasoning behind their union’s demise. In October 2010, the state of New York enacted a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce means that you don’t have to prove that the marriage ended because of something that is the other spouse’s fault. All that has to be proven is that the marriage has been “irretrievably broken” for at least six months. Essentially, a no-fault divorce doesn’t entail the petitioner having to establish grounds for the divorce. Each spouse can state they are seeking a divorce because that is what they desire. Nevertheless, divorcing parties still have the right to file fault grounds.

If you’re seeking a fault-based divorce, one spouse claims the other’s wrongdoing caused the marriage to break down. To cite fault grounds, you must prove one of the following:

  • Abandonment for at least one year
  • Adultery
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment (where it’s unsafe for the parties to live together)
  • Institutionalization
  • Imprisonment
  • Living apart for one or more years after obtaining a judgment of separation

After determining whether to file for a no-fault or fault-based divorce in New York, your spouse will have 35 days to respond to the divorce complaint. If they fail to respond to the divorce petition within the legally prescribed time frame, you can seek a default judgment.

If you’re contemplating a divorce, consult an experienced lawyer from the Law Offices of Eyal Talassazan, P.C., who can answer your questions and protect your interests at every turn.