Understanding New York Divorce Laws
Divorce Requirements for New York Residents
In filing a divorce petition in New York, the parties involved must satisfy one of its residency requirements. Otherwise, the court will find no jurisdiction over the petition.
New York imposes a two-year residency period if only one spouse lives in the Empire State when the divorce papers were filed. The state imposes a one-year residency period only if: (a) the marriage took place in NY, and one spouse is still a resident; or (b) both spouses have resided in New York and one spouse is still a resident; or (c) the grounds for divorce arose in the state. There is no minimum residency period if the spouses are both residents and the grounds arose in NY.
New York Grounds For Divorce
New York considers the no-fault divorce ground of living separate and apart for one year under a notarized separation agreement. Its common fault-based grounds include:
- Cruel and inhuman treatment that endangers the physical and mental well-being of the other spouse
- Abandonment for one year or more
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marital union with no probability of reconciliation
- Imprisonment for three or more consecutive years within the duration of the marriage
Child Custody Law in New York
New York child custody is decided by the court only until the child is 18 years old. The court will not take gender as basis for consideration in awarding child custody. Parents could be awarded with either joint legal custody, sole legal custody, joint physical custody, or sole physical custody.
Unlike in some States, there is no parenting plan that the parents are required to submit to the NY court.
The court recognizes joint custody in the child’s best interest, considering some of the factors in custody decisions below:
- Wishes and needs of the child;
- Wishes of the child’s parent or parents;
- Relationship of the child with the parents and siblings;
- Mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
Guidelines for New York Child Support
New York child support guidelines under its Child Support Standards Act involve a standard application for the amount of child support which the non-custodial parent is obliged to pay. Applying a set of percentages based on the number of children requiring support, the calculation is one child for 17%, two children for 25%, three children for 29%, four children for 31%, and five or more children for 35%.
Child support shall be in effect until the child reaches adulthood or finishes high school.
Where to file for a divorce?
The only type of court that handles divorce cases is a New York State Supreme Court, and the only person who can legally grant a divorce is a Supreme Court judge.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file New York online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for New York Residents” above and also review the best online divorce sites.
Divorce mediation in New York is a voluntary settlement process involving a trained divorce mediator wherein couples can make decisions and reach agreements on financial matters, among others. It is more cost-saving and less stressful for divorcing couples, as it gives a more cooperative and communicative setting. Parties may seek for mediation to settle disputes before filing the divorce papers in New York.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the New York Courts for more information