Insights on New York Divorce Laws

An Empire State of Mind New York Divorce Laws

In Sex and the City, one of the lead characters, Charlotte, finds out there is no fairy-tale ending in a divorce.

She did get to keep her fancy New York apartment, though. If you want to come through a divorce in NY with your affairs intact, you need to understand how to file for a divorce in NY.

New York no-fault divorce

New York divorce laws technically have seven grounds for divorce.

These grounds for divorce in NY allow one spouse to choose to try and prove that the other spouse did something wrong, like committing cruelty, abandonment, or adultery.  

A fault divorce is a complicated process with few benefits, though.

For that reason, most couples seeking divorce in New York (or anywhere else) will choose a no-fault option.

Divorce law in NY allows for divorce after living separately for one year or after an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for a period of six months.

The grounds for divorce in New York state have changed a lot over the years, as fault grounds were the only way to get a divorce up until the 1970s.

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How to get a divorce in New York

Sometimes the hardest part of a difficult decision like seeking a divorce is the first step.

People often wonder how to apply for a divorce in NY.

The answer to how to get a divorce in NY is to file a verified complaint in an action for divorce.  This gets the ball rolling under New York state divorce laws.

Getting a divorce in NY allows you to also seek alimony and property division, plus deal with disputes over children.

Getting divorced in NY can take some time.

Dividing property for many couples is just a matter of closing down a joint bank account and splitting whatever is left. Others may have real estate holdings that are difficult to split.

Generally, assets will either need to be sold and the proceeds split or else one spouse will have to buy the other spouse’s share.

The division of assets is generally roughly equal, but the law actually requires an “equitable” split.

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The factors in determining the split include things like the income of each spouse and the length of the marriage.  Note that the property each couple brought into the marriage stays separate.

If a spouse does not feel that their share of the assets is enough, alimony might be an option.  This is an ongoing payment that one spouse makes to the other. New York divorce law calls it spousal maintenance.

How to file for divorce in NY without a lawyer

Divorce in New York is straightforward for people that can come to an agreement on their split.

This does not necessarily mean the couple gets along easily.  It just means that they work out their differences early in the divorce process in NY, so that they are able to seek their divorce in an uncontested manner.

This can usually be done without a lawyer, though sometimes a third party like a mediator will help the couple resolve their disagreements before filing for divorce in NY.

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