What Are The Steps for Filing for Divorce in New York?

What Are the Steps for Filing for Divorce in New YorkDivorce can be an unexpected life event.  No one plans to get divorced and many times, one spouse may even be caught off guard by their spouse telling them that they want a divorce. Nor can one even imagine everything that goes into getting a divorce.  One of the most common questions that come up when considering divorce is, “What are the steps for filing for divorce in New York?” Below are some questions to consider and tips on how to prepare when filing for divorce in the Empire State.


Do You Meet New York’s Residency Requirements?


The state of New York has certain residency requirements that you must meet to file for divorce. You have to meet one of the below NY residency requirements:


  • Have you or your spouse been living in New York for 2 consecutive years or more?
  • Did you or your spouse live in New York for at least 1 year prior to filing for divorce, and were you married in New York, or lived in New York as a married couple, or the grounds for divorce occurred in NY?
  • Were both you and your spouse New York residents when the divorce was filed and the grounds for your divorce happened in NY?

What Were the Grounds for Divorce?


There are two types of divorces in New York.  One is called “no-fault” divorce and it requires only that one spouse can sign a sworn statement stating that there has been   “an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for at least 6 months”.


The second type of divorce in New York is called a “fault” divorce.  A fault divorce can be based on factors in the marriage such as infidelity, abandonment, physical and emotional abuse or if one spouse was in jail or prison for three or more years.


If you have questions about what type of divorce would be appropriate based on your unique circumstances, contact Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971.


Do You Have All of Your Financial Documents Ready?


An important part of filing for divorce is making sure that you have gathered all of your financial documents.  Financial documents may include items such as tax returns, bank statements, 401K, and other retirement accounts, pay stubs, investment accounts, credit card statements, loan accounts, and any debts.


Financial documents are essential for determining how assets will be divided as well as alimony and child support payments. Your New York divorce attorney will also need these documents to help you with your divorce process.



Have You Considered What You May Want to Include in a Parenting Plan?


Have you discussed with your spouse to discuss matters such as custody arrangements, and how you plan on co-parenting?  Remember that the courts in New York will always put the best interest of the children above anything else, so it helps to find some common ground with your spouse.


Have You Filed a Summons with Notice or a Summons and Complaint With the County Clerk’s Office?


The summons should include what the grounds for divorce are, how many children you have together, proof of New York residency, and your preferences pertaining to custody and division of assets.  You may also include additional information with any other divorce matters that you think are important to document.


Have You Served Your Spouse?


Once you have filed the summons, you have to serve your spouse with the divorce papers within 120 days or less.  Usually, a third-party is utilized to serve your spouse with the divorce papers.


Did Your Spouse Respond to Your Petition?


Once your spouse has responded to your petition, you will have to start the negotiation process and come to an agreement on divorce matters such as custody and division of assets. If you wish to come to an agreement without having to hash it out in court, you may want to consider divorce mediation.  Divorce mediation is a more cost-effective and less adversarial option for divorcing as it calls for open communication and compromise to come to resolutions on the various aspects of divorce such as custody, division of assets, and co-parenting under the oversight and guidance of a divorce mediation professional.


Need Help for Filing for Divorce in New York?


Contact Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971 if you need assistance with filing for divorce in New York and help with negotiating the terms of your divorce.






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