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

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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.

Why choose our firm?

We have an excellent AVVO rating from our many happy clients

We will tirelessly pursue a favorable resolution to your case

We offer aggressive and effective representation

We treat our clients with the compassion, patience, and respect that they deserve

We have more than 20 years of dedicated legal experience

We have the legal knowledge necessary to help you obtain the outcome you desire

We tailor our practice to the representation of your divorce case

What Our Clients Are Saying

I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

‐ Dave

I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

‐ Craig

After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

‐ Linda

I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

‐ Joanne


The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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