Nassau County Divorce Attorneys
Serving Long Island and New York, Including Nassau, Suffolk, and Queens Counties
If you have any questions about whether or not you meet the residency requirements for divorce or separation in the state of New York, or have grounds for a divorce or separation, please contact our office for a consultation.
The Domestic Relations Law of New York provides that an action for divorce may be brought if:
- The parties were married in the state and either party is a resident thereof when the action is commenced and has been a resident for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding; or
- The parties have resided in this state as spouses and either party is a resident thereof when the action is commenced and has been a resident for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding; or
- The cause occurred in the state and either party has been a resident thereof for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding the commencement of the action; or
- The cause occurred in the state and both parties are residents thereof at the time of the commencement of the action; or
- Either party has been a resident of the state for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the commencement of the action.
Your divorce is not just a matter of filing some paperwork or checking the correct boxes. You want a divorce attorney who, beyond legally protecting your best interests, understands your unique situation.
Grounds for Divorce in New York
New York is a “no-fault” state — a spouse can allege that the parties’ marriage has been irretrievably broken for a period of at least six months to seek a divorce.
While “no fault” is the most common and cost-effective basis, another basis for divorce may better serve you. New York recognizes a total of seven separate possible grounds for divorce.
Cruel & Inhuman Treatment
To be sufficient grounds, the treatment complained of must have endangered the physical or mental well-being of the spouse seeking a divorce or must have made it unsafe or improper for that spouse to cohabit with the other.
Abandonment by a spouse for a period of a least one year is also a basis to seek a divorce. Abandonment may be actual (i.e. a spouse physically leaves the marital home without any intention of returning) or “constructive” (i.e. refusal to engage in marital relations for at least one year).
The confinement of one spouse in prison for a period of three consecutive years (or longer) after the marriage is sufficient grounds.
Sexual intercourse or other such conduct by one party to a marriage with a person other than their spouse may be grounds for divorce.
Divorce After a Judgment of Separation
When spouses have lived apart pursuant to a decree or judgment of separation for a period of at least one year, the court may grant the parties a divorce on that basis as well.
Divorce After a Legal Separation Agreement
When spouses have signed and filed a valid separation agreement with a county clerk and have lived apart for at least one year pursuant to the terms of such agreement, a divorce may be granted.
This cause of action is sometimes referred to as “no fault.” To proceed with a “no-fault” divorce, one party must state under oath that the relationship between the spouses has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months.
However, before a judgment of divorce may be entered, the statute also requires the resolution, either by the parties or the court, of all other issues, including custody/access, equitable distribution, spousal support, child support, counsel, and experts' fees and expenses.
Married parties who are not ready to proceed with a divorce can alternatively seek a judgment of separation based upon similar causes (except that New York does not provide for a “no-fault” separation). While married parties wishing to separate generally proceed with a divorce, there are limited, fact-specific considerations that may make a separation more appropriate.
Do you have any additional questions? Contact us at (516) 447-8977.
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