How do I get a Divorce if my Spouse Lives in Another State?

If you are getting a divorce, you most likely have several questions regarding your path going forward. The divorce process is complicated, and if your spouse is currently living in another state, you may be worried about how your divorce will be executed. If you are seeking a divorce, please read on to learn more about what you can do. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is the residency requirement for divorce in New York?

To get a divorce in New York State, you must first establish jurisdiction by satisfying the residency requirement. New York courts can establish jurisdiction if:

  • One or both parties have lived in the state without interruption for at least two years.
  • One or both parties have lived in the state in the year before the divorce case and the couple either got married in New York, lived in New York as a married couple, or the grounds for divorce happened in New York.
  • Both are residents on the day of filing for divorce.

Once you satisfy the residency requirement, you will either begin a no-fault divorce or choose to cite fault grounds.

What are the grounds for divorce?

Those getting a divorce very often seek to hold their spouse accountable for wrongdoing. In New York, you can either choose to cite fault grounds, or choose what is known as a “no-fault” divorce. A no-fault divorce simply means that both spouses agree there has been an “irretrievable breakdown in the relationship for at least 6 months.”

While it may be tempting to inform the court that your spouse was a horrible person, it is generally best to avoid citing fault grounds. Simply put, when you cite fault grounds, your spouse has a chance to rebut, which can create a hostile environment and may drastically prolong the length of your divorce. What’s more, citing fault grounds seldom has an impact on the outcome of your divorce, aside from very few exceptions. However, some valid fault grounds in New York are as follows:

  • Institutionalization
  • Imprisonment
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Abandonment for at least one year

Once you file your complaint for divorce, your spouse has 35 days to respond. The process can seem frightening, though thankfully, it does not have to be. Reach out to our skilled firm who will work to establish the most effective plan of action going forward.

Contact our experienced New York firm

Divorce is complex. Fortunately, our firm is here to address any questions and concerns you may have regarding your rights, assets, and future. When you choose our firm to represent your best interests, we address each of your concerns and answer all of your questions to help you rest assured knowing you have a compassionate, skilled firm fighting in your corner. We leave no stone unturned. No matter your legal situation, if you need us, we are here. We pride ourselves on providing sympathetic service and aggressive representation to clients all over Suffolk County. Do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. for a consultation.