Divorce in New York

Nicknamed The Empire State, New York refers to divorce as Matrimonial Action.

To file for divorce (or legal separation or annulment) in New York, one of these residency requirements must be met:

Either party has lived in New York for at least two years leading to filing the action

Both parties live in New York at the time of filing for divorce, and the grounds occurred in the state; or

Either party has lived in New York for at least one year before filing, and your marriage took place in NY, and both of you lived as husband and wife in NY, and the grounds for the divorce occurred in NY.1

New York is a no-fault divorce state also with fault-based grounds for divorce. You can get a no-fault divorce if there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for at least six months. Fault-based grounds include cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, adultery, imprisonment for three consecutive years and legal separation. Consult a divorce lawyer to understand a separation agreement.2

New York is an equitable distribution property state, and only property acquired during the marriage is subject to division. The courts use New York divorce laws to divide marital property in a manner that is fair and equitable. The judge will also consider factors such as economic misconduct, contributions to a partner’s education and non-monetary contributions.3

1NY Dom Rel Law § 230

2NY Dom Rel Law § 170

3N.Y. DOM. REL. § 236B(5)