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New York Legal Requirements for Divorce

In New York, legal requirements for divorce hinge on length of state and county residency and also include waiting periods. In the Empire State you can base your divorce on either fault or "no-fault" ground or you can base the dissolution on spouses being separated for at least 12 months. New York added no-fault divorces for the first time in 2012.

The following table outlines the basic legal requirements for divorce in New York. See Details on State Requirements for Divorce to learn more.

Code Section Dom. Rel. §§170, 171, 202, 230, 231
Residency Requirements Were married in state or reside in state as husband and wife and either party has been resident 1 yr. before commencing suit; cause occurred in New York and both parties are resident at commencement of suit; either has been resident for 2 yrs.
Waiting Period -
'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce Separation (1 yr. or more).
Defenses to a Divorce Filing Adultery: Offense committed with plaintiff's connivance; offense forgiven (shown affirmatively, by voluntary cohabitation, or by no action commenced within 5 yrs. of discovery of offense); plaintiff also guilty of adultery; defendant may set up misconduct of plaintiff as justification.
Other Grounds for Divorce Adultery; cruel and inhuman treatment; abandonment (for 1 or more years); imprisonment of defendant for 3 or more consecutive yrs; lived apart for 1 or more yrs.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New York family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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