Each state has its own statutes regulating how divorce should operate and
New York is no different. You are allowed in New York to file for no-fault
divorce or one based on fault. You can even file for divorce if you and
your spouse have been separated for at least 12 months. If there are contentious
issues involved in your divorce such as alimony or marital assets, it
may be best to pursue a fault-based divorce.
To obtain a divorce in New York, at least one of the spouses need to be
a resident of the state for one year before filing for divorce.
In equitable division states like New York, the spouses are considered
to have owned all marital assets equally and thus have an equal share
to all assets acquired during the marriage. The judge will work to divide
the marital estate as fairly as possible.
What about children?
When children are involved, the court will work in the best interests of
the child and strive to maintain frequent and continuing contact with
both parents after a divorce. This means in general their first choice
is to arrange a joint custody plan. Again, in the end, this will be determined
according to the child's best interests.
No matter the child custody and support arrangement, both parents will
contribute to the child's care. The amount of support paid by one
of the parents will be determined according to several factors, mainly
on the parent's income and how much time they will be spending with
the child. Some courts will force or "impute" income for a parent
to pay based on their income-earning capacity.
New York does offer a do-it-yourself divorce whereby you can fill out a
firm at the local courthouse or local law library.
Contact our office if you are considering a divorce or need representation for divorce and
child custody hearings.