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Residency requirements for filing grounds for divorce in New York

Divorce isn't something any couple go into marriage anticipating, but the reality is that about 50 percent of marriages end up that way. Up until recently in New York, a spouse filing for divorce had to show grounds that the other spouse irreparably damaged the relationship. But with a new no-fault law in place, couples can simply claim irreconcilable differences; in the eyes of the court, neither party is held accountable.

While the majority of divorces are now filed under the new no-fault law, there are still options for filing on grounds, which may provide some advantage in property, maintenance and custody settlements if the "at-fault" party is, indeed, found accountable by the court.

Residency requirements

There are a few ways to meet the requirements to file for grounds divorce in the State of New York. These include:

  • You, your spouse, or you and your spouse have been living in New York State full-time for at least two years before you filed for divorce.
  • You and your spouse are both residents of New York on the day the divorce is filed, and grounds for your divorce occurred in New York State.
  • You, your spouse, or you and your spouse have been living in New York State for one year before filing for divorce, and you must fall into one of the three following categories.
  1. You got married in New York
  2. You lived in New York as a married couple
  3. The grounds for your divorce occurred in New York

The grounds for divorce requirements

With a divorce with grounds, any reason is not acceptable. Your situation must fall within one of the seven legally acceptable grounds in the state of New York. These include:

  1. Breakdown Of the Relationship For At Least Six Months: This ground is called a no-fault divorce. To qualify for this ground, your marriage must have been over for at least six months. Also, money issues, debt, the division of the marital property, and child custody and support must all be settled before filing.
  2. Cruel and Inhumane Treatment: To qualify for this ground, you need to prove to the judge that your spouse has been inflicting cruel and inhumane treatment on you for the last five years. This includes feeling like you are physically and mentally in danger, where it is unsafe for you to remain in the marriage. Arguing with your spouse isn't enough to satisfy this requirement.
  3. Abandonment: To qualify for this ground, your spouse must have abandoned you for one year or longer. Abandonment is when your spouse physically leaves the house and has no intention of returning. Another form of abandonment is called constructive abandonment, which is where your spouse refuses to have sex with you.
  4. Imprisonment: To qualify for this ground, your spouse must have been in prison for three or more years in a row, and they must have been incarcerated after you were married. You would not qualify for these grounds if you got married during your spouse's incarceration. You can use this ground while your spouse is in prison, or up to five years after their release.
  5. Adultery: The qualify for this ground, you must be able to prove that your spouse has been unfaithful during the marriage. This can be difficult because the judge will need more than your word.
  6. Divorce After a Legal Separation Agreement: To qualify for this ground, both you and your spouse must have signed and filed a legal separation agreement. You also need to have been living apart for one year.
  7. Divorce After a Judgment Of Separation: Of all the acceptable grounds, this one is used the least often. This can only be used if the Supreme Court draws up a judgment of separation. You also need to have been living apart for one year.

If you are planning to file for divorce, and you want to file for divorce with grounds, you should contact the Law Offices Of Robert W. Dapelo. We can help you begin the filing process, and answer any questions about the requirements that you may have. To schedule a consultation, give us a call today.

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