In New York the parties may agree to enter into a separation and have the separation agreement or judgment be the further basis for a divorce after one year.

The residency requirements for a divorce in New York are:

  • The marriage ceremony was performed in New York and either spouse is a resident of the state at the time of commencement of the action for divorce and resided in the state for a continuous period of one year immediately before the action began;
  • The couple lived as husband and wife in New York;
  • The grounds for divorce occurred in New York;
  • One spouse must presently be a resident of New York and have resided continuously in the state for at least two years prior to filing an action for divorce.

Children: The three key issues when children are involved in a divorce or separation are:

  • Child Custody – Physical custody—where is the child’s main residence and legal custody and who makes decisions about the child;
  • Child Visitation – The parent who does not have physical custody has either reasonable rights of visitation, a specified visitation schedule, or limited to supervised visitation;
  • Child Support – In New York the amount of child support paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent is determined by the state.

Equitable distribution is the law in New York that determines the division of property at the end of a marriage. The court determines the fair division of the property that was accumulated during the marriage and the debts of the parties.

Today alimony is known as “maintenance” or “spousal support.” Unlike child support, there is no set formula to calculate spousal support. The length of time depends on the facts of the case as the judge sees fit to award.