Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


New York No Fault Divorce


According to New York no fault divorce laws, one can be granted divorce in the state of New York on the basis of “fault” grounds only. The only no-fault grounds that are within the purview of the divorce laws of New York are that the couple must agree to live separately from each other for one year, after having agreed to a separation agreement. This is one of the few states that do not allow unilateral divorce, meaning that divorce is not granted simply on the basis that one spouse declares that he/she wishes to divorce the other, while the other wishes to save the marriage. Divorce can be granted by NY courts only if none of the spouses have indulged in any “wrong doing” and have completed the separation term as signed by them along the wishes of the court. The “fault grounds” on the basis of which divorce can be obtained in New York are adultery, cruel/inhuman treatment, abandonment etc.

Residential requirements in New York no fault divorce

According to NY no-fault divorce laws, at least one of the spouses must have been a resident of New York State for the last one year prior to preceding the action of divorce case. If the grounds of the divorce have occurred in New York, then also it is necessary for at least one spouse to have been the resident of New York for the last one year.

When will I get the divorce?

If the no fault divorce is uncontested, meaning that all the critical matters concerning the spouses, such as child custody or spousal support or property division have been settled by the spouses “outside the marriage” and the separation period has also been completed accordingly, then the divorce decree would be signed on the 30th day after filing for divorce. If the divorce case is complicated with disputes between the spouses, then it would take much longer to settle the matter. An attorney is the best guide in giving an insight to how much time it might take for the entire process to take place in such conditions.

Property division in New York no fault divorce

New York is an equitable property distribution state where, judges consider at least 13 factors while devising the marital property acquired during the marriage between the spouses. The property is not exactly split up 50/50, but is fairly and equitably divided among the spouses.

In most of the no-fault divorce cases, spouses generally attempt to settle the matter of property division “outside the state”. But if they are unable to reconcile on this matter, then courts would intervene.

Child custody in New York no fault divorce

The matter of child custody is also preferably settled by the spouses “outside the court” to avoid the children getting involved in the divorce battle. They are asked to submit the necessary parenting plan and visitation schedule along with the divorce petition regarding matters of child custody. If they are unable to reach to any decision on custody matters, then courts would intervene. Courts would follow NY child custody guidelines keeping the “best interest of the child” in mind, the child’s welfare and safety while determining the terms of custody arrangements.

Spousal support in NY no-fault divorce

According to no-fault divorce laws in New York, spousal support is rarely permanent. It is to be extended till the other spouse becomes capable of getting financially stable. Permanent alimony becomes mandatory if that spouse is physically or mentally unwell, is aged or whenever the judge feels that he/she is entitled to as such.


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