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The Basics of Getting a Divorce in New York

The laws pertaining to getting a divorce in New York apply to everyone who meets the residency requirement, including same-sex couples who married in New York or married legally in another state. The simplest grounds for divorce are the condition in which the couple has lived apart for at least one year with a separation agreement. Other grounds include abandonment of one spouse by the other for more than one year, cruel and inhuman treatment, one spouse being imprisoned for three years or more and adultery. Lawyers such as Tully Rinckey may give you more details about your situation.

New York Residency Requirements and Waiting Period

If you were married in New York, the residency requirements are for one spouse to have lived in the state for at least one year. If you lived with your spouse in the state as a married couple and one of you lived in the state for at least one year, you can file in New York. If you were not married in New York, but either one of you lived in the state for at least two years, you are eligible to file for divorce in New York. There is no waiting period for a judge to declare a couple divorced.

How Is Property Divided in New York?

Marital property is divided fairly, including debts that were acquired during the marriage. This does not mean the division need be equal. Property includes real estate, income and personal possessions. Each spouse’s future financial prospects will be considered, including if one spouse has custody of children. This may mean that one spouse should remain in the family home. Taxes, business interests and other assets will be taken into consideration.

Who Pays Alimony?

One spouse may pay alimony to the other. There are several factors a judge will consider before determining the amount such as each spouse’s ability to earn income and how long the couple was married. If one spouse contributed years of homemaking, this will also be taken into consideration. Once the court determines alimony, it may not be easy to change. The spouse who wants to change it must prove that the circumstances have radically changed since the alimony order was given.

Who Pays Child Support?

In New York, child support is calculated on the combined income of both parents. Any child support obligation will continue until the child turns 21 years old. Each parent’s financial resources, the child’s health or special considerations and education expenses will all be considered before a child support order is given.

Who Gets Custody of the Child?

Whatever is in the best interests of the child is the number one priority of New York divorce law when it comes to child custody. Rinckey is an example of a lawyer who looks to provide the child with the most stable environment possible, which means one or both parents may be awarded custody. There are many things to consider before making this judgement such as the child’s age, emotional attachment to one parent, physical and mental health and each parent’s lifestyle, including the ability to provide food, shelter, medical care and clothing.

This information is intended to be helpful for anyone considering getting a divorce in the State of New York.


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