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How to Divorce in New York City

Divorce is a complex legal process involving a marital union’s termination. Understanding the critical aspects of divorce proceedings is crucial for anyone going through this difficult time. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the divorce process in New York City, including how to divorce in new york city?, the grounds for divorce, and The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C., in helping individuals navigate this sensitive legal matter.

Residency Requirements in New York City:

To file for divorce in New York City, at least one spouse must meet the residency requirements. The husband or the wife must have lived in New York for two years immediately before filing for divorce. In contrast, if the pair were married in New York or lived there as a married couple, one had to live there for at least a year before filing for divorce.

Grounds for Divorce in New York

New York offers both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce. “Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” or “irreconcilable differences,” which denotes the breakup of the marriage for at least six months, are terms used to describe the no-fault ground. Couples commonly use this ground as it avoids assigning blame to either spouse.

Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce:

Fault-based grounds for divorce refer to specific reasons that indicate one spouse’s misconduct or wrongdoing as the basis for seeking a divorce. Unlike a no-fault divorce, where the couple can end their marriage without blaming either party, fault-based grounds require the petitioner to provide evidence of the alleged misconduct in court.

In various jurisdictions, including New York, fault-based grounds for divorce may include adultery, cruel treatment, abandonment, imprisonment, and living apart under a separation agreement or decree for at least one year. Cheating is when one partner has extramarital relations, whereas cruel treatment is when one partner engages in physical or mental maltreatment that jeopardises the other partner’s well-being. Abandonment occurs when one spouse leaves the marital home without a valid reason and intends to desert the marriage.

Fault-based grounds may also encompass situations where one spouse is imprisoned for a significant period, leading to the inability to maintain the marital relationship. Additionally, if the couple has been living apart for at least one year according to a separation agreement or court decree, this may serve as a basis for divorce.

It is essential to note that fault-based grounds for divorce can make the process more contentious and emotionally challenging, as the accused spouse may deny the allegations and contest the divorce based on fault. Additionally, fault-based divorces may impact property division and spousal support determinations, as the court may consider the misconduct when making decisions.

In situations where fault-based grounds are challenging to prove or unnecessary, many couples choose to pursue a no-fault divorce to avoid the additional emotional burden and complexities associated with proving misconduct. Ultimately, the choice between fault-based and no-fault divorce depends on the unique circumstances of each case and the advice of legal counsel.

Legal Separation:

New York allows couples to seek a legal separation as an alternative to divorce. A legal separation involves similar issues as a divorce, such as child custody, support, and property division, without officially terminating the marriage. Some couples choose legal separation for religious, financial, or personal reasons.

Division of Marital Property:

New York adheres to the principle of fair distribution when dividing marital assets. Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal division; instead, it aims to divide assets and debts somewhat based on various factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial contributions, and the future financial prospects of each spouse.

Child Custody and Support:

A key component of divorce proceedings is child custody, and New York courts base their decisions on what is better for the kid. Child support is usually from the non-custodial parent, whether single or split custody. When determining custody arrangements, the court considers parental fitness, the child’s relationship with each parent, and their preferences (depending on age).

Spousal Support (Alimony):

Marital aid, also called maintenance, might be granted to one partner depending on both individuals’ monetary requirements and situations. The tribunal considers variables like the duration of the union, each partner’s revenue and capability to earn, well-being, and lifestyle throughout the marriage while deciding on marital aid.

Role of The Law Offices Of SRIS, P.C.:

The Law Offices Of SRIS, P.C. is a knowledgeable legal firm with experience in family law matters, including divorce cases in New York City. Their experienced attorneys provide compassionate guidance and strong advocacy for their clients throughout the divorce process. They assist individuals in understanding their rights, negotiating settlements, and, if necessary, representing their interests in court.

Post-Divorce Modifications:

Life is unpredictable, and circumstances may change for the divorced parties and their children after a divorce. Post-divorce modifications become necessary when existing custody, support, or visitation agreements no longer meet all parties’ evolving needs and requirements.

After finalising a divorce, post-divorce modifications become necessary when life circumstances change. These changes can include relocating to a different city or state, significant alterations in financial situations, or evolving needs of the children involved. Individuals may seek post-divorce modifications to adjust custody arrangements, child support, spousal support (alimony), or visitation agreements.

To initiate the modification process, individuals must present compelling evidence to the court demonstrating the substantial change in circumstances that warrant the modification. Seeking the assistance of experienced family law attorneys like The Law Offices Of SRIS, P.C. can ensure a smoother transition through the legal complexities and help individuals secure the necessary modifications to align with their current realities.

Reasons for a contested and uncontested divorce with examples:

Contested Divorce:

A contested divorce occurs when the spouses cannot agree on one or more fundamental issues, so they must go to court to have a judge decide for them. Here are some common reasons for a contested divorce:

  1. Disagreement on Child Custody: One of the most typical causes for a disputed divorce is a dispute over child custody arrangements. Both spouses may want sole custody or have differing views on visitation schedules and parenting plans.

Example: One spouse believes they are better suited to have sole custody of the children due to their stable job and financial situation, while the other spouse contends that joint custody is in the children’s interests for maintaining a close relationship with both parents.

  1. Disputes over Property Division: Dividing marital assets and debts can be contentious. If the couple owns valuable property, businesses, or high-value assets, determining how to divide them can lead to disputes.

Example: The couple owns a family business, and both spouses feel entitled to a significant share. They cannot agree on whether to sell the business and split the proceeds or for one spouse to buy out the other’s share.

  1. Alimony or Spousal Support Disputes: Calculating the quantity and length of partner maintenance may result in conflicts, mainly if there is a notable difference in income between partners.

Example: The spouse with higher earnings believes they should only provide partner maintenance for a brief period, whereas the spouse with lower earnings contends that they require long-term assistance to uphold their post-divorce lifestyle.

  1. Allegations of Fault Grounds: In some states, filing for divorce based on fault grounds (e.g., adultery, cruelty, abandonment) can lead to a contested divorce if the accused spouse denies the allegations.

Example: One spouse files for divorce based on allegations of adultery, but the accused spouse vehemently denies any infidelity and refuses to agree to the divorce on those grounds.

Uncontested Divorce:

An uncontested divorce occurs when spouses mutually agree on all critical issues without court intervention. They will work together to resolve their differences and file the necessary paperwork jointly. Here are some common reasons for an uncontested divorce:

  1. Amicable Relationship: If the couple can communicate effectively, they may be more likely to agree on issues like child custody, property division, and support without involving the court.

Example: The couple mutually agrees that they have grown apart, and while they both want what is better for their children, they understand that they would be happier and more fulfilled by ending the marriage.

  1. Simple Financial Situation: If the couple has minimal assets and debts, dividing them may be more straightforward, making it easier to agree on property division.

Example: The couple has been married for a short time, and they do not own significant assets or have complex financial arrangements. They agree to a 50/50 split of their shared bank accounts and decide to keep their assets.

  1. No-Fault Divorce: In jurisdictions offering a no-fault divorce option, couples may find it easier to have an uncontested divorce since they don’t need to blame either spouse.

Example: The couple realises their marriage has broken down and mutually agrees to end it without blaming each other.

Navigating a divorce with grace and resilience requires emotional healing, effective communication, child-focused decisions, professional guidance, financial planning, self-care, embracing change, letting go of resentment, building a support system, and cultivating gratitude.

By understanding How to Divorce in New York City? And implementing them during the divorce process, you can confidently empower yourself to face this challenging life transition and lay the foundation for a brighter future. Remember that seeking support and guidance is key, and with the right mindset and approach, you can emerge more substantial and more resilient on the other side of divorce.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How to Divorce in New York City: 

FAQ 1: How can I emotionally heal during a divorce?

Answer: Emotionally healing during a divorce involves allowing yourself to feel and process your emotions. Seek support from loved ones or consider therapy to help you navigate this challenging time. Remember that healing takes time, and it’s okay to grieve the end of your marriage.

FAQ 2: How can effective communication with my ex-spouse make the divorce smoother?

Answer: Open and respectful communication can lead to more amicable resolutions and reduce conflicts during the divorce process. It empowers both factions to collaborate and discover mutual understanding on significant matters, eventually facilitating the transition for all individuals involved.

FAQ 3: How do I prioritise my children’s well-being during the divorce?


  1. Focus on maintaining a positive co-parenting relationship with your ex-spouse.
  2. Minimise conflict in front of the children, reassure them of your love and prioritise their emotional needs.
  3. Keep communication lines open with your children and encourage them to express their feelings.

FAQ 4: Is hiring a divorce attorney necessary?

Answer: Professionals strongly recommend hiring a divorce attorney, although it is not mandatory. An experienced divorce attorney can provide guidance, protect your rights, and ensure that you make informed decisions throughout the divorce process.

FAQ 5: How can I handle the financial aspects of divorce?

Answer: Create a clear financial plan for your post-divorce life. Understand your assets, debts, and budget, and consider seeking advice from a financial advisor. Being financially prepared can help you navigate the divorce process with more confidence.

FAQ 6: What is self-care, and why is it important during a divorce?

Answer: Self-care involves taking care of yourself physically and emotionally. Participate in activities that bring you happiness and serenity, prioritise your well-being, and seek encouragement from loved ones. Self-care is crucial during a divorce as it helps reduce stress and supports your emotional well-being.

FAQ 7: How can I embrace change during the divorce process?


  1. Embrace change as an opportunity for personal growth and transformation.
  2. Focus on the positive aspects of starting anew and reinventing yourself.
  3. Be open to new experiences and possibilities that lie ahead.

FAQ 8: How do I let go of resentment towards my ex-spouse?

Answer: Letting go of resentment takes time and effort. Practice forgiveness, both towards yourself and your ex-spouse. Focus on moving forward positively and release the burden of holding onto negative emotions.

FAQ 9: How can I build a support system during the divorce?

Answer: Surround yourself with a robust support system of friends and family who can offer understanding, empathy, and encouragement. A reliable support network can provide comfort and help you cope with the challenges of divorce.

FAQ 10: What are the benefits of cultivating gratitude during the divorce?

Answer: Cultivating gratitude can help shift your focus from the challenges of divorce to the positive aspects of your life. It can enhance your resilience, reduce stress, and promote a more optimistic outlook as you navigate the divorce process.

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