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New York Divorce Facts

When going through a divorce in in New York, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in the state of New York should know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of New York Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified New York Divorce Professional.

  • One spouse must be a resident of New York for one year, but if the spouses were married outside of the state, they must live in the state for two years before filing for divorce.
  • New York recently became the final state to enact no-fault divorce.
  • Fault grounds for divorce include adultery, constructive abandonment for at least one year, cruel and inhuman punishment, and imprisonment of a spouse for three or more years.
  • The court grants an uncontested divorce if the spouses have no children from the marriage and agree on the important terms and conditions, such as property division and alimony.
  • The filing spouse must file and serve a verified complaint stating grounds for the divorce. They must also specify any other issues such as property division, spousal support, or child custody.
  • The court requires that the spouses attend a preliminary conference, at which the parties try to decide occupancy of the marital home, daily care for any children and payment of expenses. At the conference, the spouses also discuss exchanging of the following information that includes net worth statements, appraisals of pensions and real estate, interrogatories (formal written questions), the taking of depositions.
  • New York divides marital property equitably, unless a written settlement agreement between the parties is achieved. All property in the divorce case is either separate property owned by the individual, or marital property owned by the married couple.
  • Marital property is all property earned or acquired during the marriage. Separate property is that owned by one party before the marriage. Separate property is awarded to that individual. However, the increase in value of separate property that occurs during the marital period may be divided under the equitable distribution system. Separate property also includes gifts or inheritances received during the marriage.
  • The court awards alimony after considering the spouses' financial situation, earning capacity, income, and the circumstances of the marriage. For example, if one spouse stayed home to care for the household while the other spouse supported the household, then the court generally requires the working spouse to continue supporting the other spouse. Alimony ends when the spouses agree, one spouse dies, or the receiving spouse remarries.
  • New York's Child Support Standards Act provides child support guidelines and enforcement. Child support is calculated by examining the incomes of both parents and the child's basic monthly living expenses.
  • New York does not automatically give custody of children to any one parent. In deciding custody, the court only considers what is in the best interest of the child. It considers who gave primary care during the marriage, scheduled doctors' appointments, and attended school meetings. Generally, the court allows the non-custodial parent ample visitation with the child and even award joint custody. Visitation is often only limited in circumstances where there is abuse.

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