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New York State No Fault Divorce

No-fault divorce:

No-fault divorce is a type of divorce in which neither spouse is required to prove that the other spouse was at fault for the marriage breakdown. In New York, no-fault divorce was first legalized in 2010.

How to Get a No-Fault Divorce in New York?

  • Eligibility: Before proceeding, ensure you meet the residency requirements. You or your spouse must have lived in New York for at least two years before filing for divorce. Alternatively, if you both agree to the divorce, at least one of you must have lived in New York for at least one year before filing.
  • Grounds for No-Fault Divorce: New York allows for a no-fault divorce based on an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” This means the relationship between you and your spouse has broken down irretrievably for at least six months, and there is no chance of reconciliation.
  • Preparation of Divorce Papers: The spouse seeking the divorce (the “plaintiff”) must prepare the necessary divorce papers. These typically include the Summons with Notice or Summons and Verified Complaint, which are filed with the county clerk’s office.
  • Serve Divorce Papers: After preparing the divorce papers, the plaintiff must “serve” the papers to the other spouse (the “defendant”). This can be done through personal service by a third party, process server, or law enforcement officer. Alternatively, the defendant can sign an acknowledgment of receipt, which is then filed with the court.
  • Response from the Defendant: The defendant has a specific time (usually 20 or 30 days) to respond to the divorce papers after being served. If the defendant agrees to the divorce, they can sign a form called an “Affidavit of Defendant” or a “Waiver of Defendant,” indicating their consent to the divorce.
  • Negotiation and Settlement: If there are outstanding issues such as child custody, support, division of property, or spousal support, both parties may negotiate and try to reach a settlement agreement. The court encourages settlements, but the court will decide these matters if an agreement cannot be reached.
  • Filing the Divorce Judgment: Once all issues are resolved, the plaintiff must file the “Note of Issue” and “Request for Judicial Intervention.” This will prompt the court to set a date for the final divorce hearing.
  • Final Divorce Hearing: During the last hearing, the court reviews the settlement agreement (if any) and ensures both parties understand its terms. The court will issue the final divorce judgment if everything is in order.
  • Completion of Divorce: The divorce becomes final once the court signs and enters the divorce judgment. Both parties will receive a copy of the divorce decree and officially dissolve the marriage.

As we know, divorce can be complex, especially if disputes or complicated financial matters are involved. It’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced family law attorney to guide you through the process and protect your rights.

Additional Details about No-Fault Divorce in New York:

  • The ground for divorce is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
  • There is no need to prove fault on the part of either spouse.
  • The spouses must live separately for at least six months before filing for divorce.
  • The divorce can be granted even if the spouses do not agree on all the divorce terms.
  • The court will decide the divorce terms, including child custody, visitation, and alimony.

No-fault divorce is a relatively new concept in New York, and the law is still evolving. If you are considering getting a divorce in New York, you must talk to an attorney to get the most up-to-date information about your rights and options.

The Importance of Consulting with a Divorce Lawyer:

  • A lawyer can help you avoid making mistakes during the complex divorce process.
  • A divorce lawyer can help you protect your rights and interests throughout the proceedings.
  • They can assist you in negotiating a favorable settlement agreement or divorce decree.
  • A divorce attorney can represent you in court if the divorce requires litigation.
  • They can provide emotional support and guidance during this challenging time.

If you are considering a no-fault divorce in New York, contact “The Law Offices of SRIS.P.C.,” to schedule your initial consultation. We can help you understand your rights and options and advise you on the possible course of action for your situation.


What is a no-fault divorce?

A no-fault divorce is a type of divorce in which neither spouse is required to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. In New York, a no-fault divorce can be granted if the spouses have been separated for at least six months.

What are the requirements for a no-fault divorce in New York?

To file for a no-fault divorce in New York, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have been married for at least one year.
  • You should have been separated for at least six months.
  • Both should agree to the divorce.

What are the benefits of no-fault divorce?

There are a few benefits to a no-fault divorce:

  • It is typically faster and less expensive than a fault-based divorce.
  • It can be less emotionally draining for both spouses.
  • It does not require either spouse to admit fault.

What are the drawbacks of no-fault divorce?

There are a few drawbacks to a no-fault divorce:

  • You may not be able to get alimony or child support if your spouse does not agree to it.
  • You may not be able to get a divorce if your spouse refuses to cooperate.
  • You may have to wait six months to get a divorce, even if you both agree to the terms.

What are the steps involved in a no-fault divorce in New York?

The steps involved in a no-fault divorce in New York are:

  • File a petition for divorce with the court.
  • Serve your spouse with the petition.
  • Attend a mandatory mediation session.
  • Negotiate a separation agreement or divorce decree.

File the separation agreement or divorce decree with the court.

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