Residency Requirements for Divorce in New York

Many people want to file for a divorce in New York, but not everyone can. In order for New York to hold jurisdiction over your case, you must meet one of the state’s strict residency requirements for divorce. Read on to find out if you qualify for a divorce in New York!

Residency Requirements in New York

New York recognizes 5 different criteria that determines whether or not a person is considered a resident. You must meet 1 of the 5 before you can file for a divorce. What are they?

  1. You were married in New York, and at least one party was a full-time resident of the state for at least one year before the divorce was started.
  2. Both parties have lived in New York for a minimum of one year before your case was filed. At least one person must have remained a resident of the state prior to your case being filed.
  3. The grounds for divorce must have occurred in New York, and one spouse must have remained a resident of the state for a period of one year.
  4. The reason for your divorce must have occurred in the state, while both parties were residents for at least one year before the action was filed.
  5. Finally, either party has resided, full time, in New York for a minimum of 2 years before the divorce case was started.

You don’t have to be a Resident of New York

The belief that you must live in New York in order to file for a divorce here is false. The residency requirements state that only one party must be a resident. That person doesn’t necessarily have to be the person who files (also known as the Plaintiff). So, if you live in New Jersey, but your spouse lives in New York, you can initiate a divorce action here.

Establishing Residency

Establishing residency in New York isn’t hard, but it is time consuming. As stated above, it can take between 1 and 2 years to officially become a New York resident, at which time, you can file for divorce. There are a few different ways you can establish residency:

  1. Move to New York, and live here full time (make sure to change your address!).
  2. Get a NYS driver’s license, permit, or other state I.D. card.
  3. Register to vote.
  4. Get a job in New York.

Proving Jurisdiction

Proving that New York has jurisdiction over your divorce action is easier than establishing residency. The New York Unified Court System requires that all Plaintiffs prove the residency of one of the parties on the Summons for Divorce.
So, let’s assume you live in Brooklyn, and you’re filing for a divorce. Your Summons would state, “The basis of venue is Plaintiff’s residence. The plaintiff resides at 44 Court Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201”.  If you don’t live in New York, you would simply list your spouse’s address. Easy, huh?

Divorce in New York

Unfortunately, getting a divorce in New York isn’t as easy as just meeting the state’s residency requirements. The divorce process is complicated, and has many twists and turns. This is why it is important that you hire an experienced family law attorney to handle your case for you.
For more information on divorce in New York City, contact Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. and schedule your free consultation today!

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