Sat. Sep 30th, 2023

Most couples do not wish to go through the divorce process as it can be very emotionally draining. Filing for divorce in New York requires one to be a resident in that state and have grounds for dissolving the marriage. Whether parties want to engage attorneys or opt to file divorce online, they must plan for the process. Having a plan in place can help the plaintiff strategically position themselves to get the results they desire from the case.

Residency Requirement

The plaintiff must meet one of the following residency requirements for them to file a legally acceptable divorce:

  • Either party has been living in NY state continuously for two years
  • The couple married in NY state
  • The grounds for divorce happened in NY state
  • Both parties are residents of the NY state

Know the Grounds for Dissolving a Marriage 

A resident of the NY state whose grounds for divorce happened in the jurisdiction of the state can file for divorce under the following categories:

Irretrievable Breakdown in Relationship

Also known as no-fault divorce, the plaintiff will swear an affidavit under oath that the relationship has broken down for six months or more. Both the plaintiff and defendant must have agreed in advance on the following:

  • Equitable distribution of marital property
  • Payment or waiver of spousal support
  • Payment of child support
  • Payment of counsel and experts fees
  • Visitation and custody of the children involved

The judge will incorporate all the above issues into the divorce judgment. Other grounds for acceptable legal divorce are:

  • Abandonment
  • Cruelty and inhuman treatment
  • Imprisonment
  • Adultery
  • Judgment of separation
  • Separation agreement

Planning Before Filing the Divorce

After a plaintiff is conversant with the grounds for a divorce case, they can now make an informed decision to file. But first, let’s go back to the planning.

Find an Attorney to File

Whether filing in person or online, an attorney can file on behalf of the plaintiff without visiting their office. The attorneys, who also offer notary services, will make court appearances for the plaintiff. They can also file the case via e-file to the court’s website.

Gather Financial Documents

Take time to gather as many financial documents as possible and make two copies of each. The financial statements you will likely need include bank, investment, insurance, recent tax returns, deeds, titles, profit & loss accounts, et cetera. 

Household Expenditure

All expenses in the home like utility bills, mortgage, credit card bills, employee costs, and children’s costs are good evidence to support the divorce case. Keep these documents safe because they can help apply for temporary spousal support.

Child Custody and Parenting

Document all the parenting you undertake that the defendant does not to build a good case for custody of the children. Keep a calendar/diary of time spent with children. 

Set a Budget 

The defendant will no longer be bringing any income, and you will require money for upkeep. Defendants can also freeze the joint accounts. In such a situation, the best option is to open a separate account and look into obtaining a credit card to use after the divorce is granted. 

Isolate Property

Create a list of the values and acquisition dates of all property and gifts acquired while in the marriage. Learn about the defendant’s businesses, assets, and debts to provide the necessary information to the attorney.

Social Media 

Do not attempt to post things that can give out information about both the plaintiff and defendant on social media. Some information can interfere with court proceedings or may turn against you. 

Filing for Divorce in NY Is Achievable

Apart from straightforward uncontested divorces, other categories can be extraneous, time-consuming, and technical. You may have to engage a divorce therapist to help you through your emotions and make the right decisions. You will require a divorce attorney or expert knowledgeable about New York divorce laws to handle your case.

Are you a resident and filing for divorce in NY? Look for experienced attorneys who can help you get through this daunting exercise to completion.

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