What to Know About Starting the Divorce Process in New York State

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In your divorce trial, the court will analyze various aspects of your and your spouse’s lives to determine the outcomes of alimony settlements, child custody and support agreements, and property distribution. But before the court can issue a Judgement of Divorce, you must follow the proper procedure to file for divorce. Read on to learn how one of the experienced divorce attorneys in Nassau County of Barrows Levy PLLC can help you prepare for this process.

What is the first step of the divorce process in New York?

In the state of New York, the first step of the divorce process is to fulfill the residency requirement. For the court to establish jurisdiction, you must prove one of the following:

  • You or your spouse have lived in New York for at least two years without interruption.
  • You or your spouse have lived in New York in the year before your divorce case and you either got married in New York, live in New York as a married couple, or the grounds for your divorce occurred in New York.
  • Both you and your spouse are New York residents on the day of filing for divorce.

What else should I know about the divorce process?

In addition to the residency requirements, you must also show your reasons for getting a divorce. The state of New York recognizes the following fault grounds:

  • Inhuman and cruel treatment that leaves you in emotional or physical danger.
  • Abandonment for at least one year.
  • Adultery during the marriage.
  • Imprisonment of your spouse for three or more years in a row after the marriage began.
  • A separation agreement was signed and you lived apart for at least one year.
  • A judgment separation was drawn up by the court and you lived apart for at least one year.

Notably, New York is a no-fault state, meaning that you can cite no-fault grounds by declaring an “irretrievable breakdown for a period of six months or more prior to the commencement of the action for divorce.” In some circumstances, a no-fault divorce is an ideal option, as citing fault grounds will give your spouse the option to rebut your accusation and will lead to a longer, costlier, and more hostile process.

If you require any further assistance with filing, do not hesitate in reaching out to a skilled Nassau County divorce lawyer today.


Barrows Levy PLLC is a highly experienced New York law firm focused on providing quality legal services to clients in New York City and Long Island. If you need a Nassau County lawyer who has significant experience handling family and estate planning matters, we are ready to help. Contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

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