NEW YORK DIVORCE LAWS:
The Residency Requirement: If only one spouse resides in New York at the time of the filing, that spouse must have resided in New York for two years. The residency requirement is reduced to one year if:
- The spouses were married in New York and one spouse is still a resident
- The parties resided together as man and wife in New York at one time and one spouse is still a resident
- The grounds for divorce arose in New York. If both spouses resided in New York at the time of the filing of the divorce and the grounds for divorce arose in New York, there is no residency requirement.
No Fault: allows a couple to dissolve the marriage by mutual consent and without requiring one spouse to accuse the other of adultery, cruelty, imprisonment or abandonment. It also allows one spouse to divorce the other unilaterally.
Fault: Cruel and inhuman treatment; Imprisonment for at least three years; Abandonment for a period of one year (either actual or constructive, as in refusing to have sex for a year despite repeated requests); Adultery.
Property Division: New York is an equitable distribution, dual classification state. That means property is classified as either separate or marital; separate property must go to the property owner, while marital property is divided between the parties “equitably.” Equitable means fairly, based on how the parties acquired and treated the property during the marriage; it does not mean equally (click the following for an expert's overview and key tips on dividing up property through divorce).
Alimony: The court awards “maintenance” (the term “alimony” was used only for New York cases before 1980) to either spouse based on 11 factors, including the disparity in income, the duration of the marriage, the presence of very young children, the health and age of the parties, the dissipation of marital property by either spouse. Generally it is granted for a specific length of time.
Child custody and child support: As in every state, child custody is determined according to “the best interests of the child.” Neither parent gets preference. The determination may be made on a court-ordered evaluation, or by considering, among other things:
- The child’s age and physical and mental health.
- The child’s sex
- The emotional bond between parent and child
- The child’s routine
- Any evidence of abuse or neglect
- The parents’ lifestyle
- The child’s wishes, if he or she has reached the age to make an informed decision
New York child-support guidelines are based on an income shares model: the total obligation is divided between the mother and father according to their incomes:
- For one child, 17 percent of adjusted gross income
- For two children, 25 percent of adjusted gross income
- For three children, 29 percent of adjusted gross income
- For four children, 31 percent of adjusted gross income
- For five or more children, 35 percent of adjusted gross income
New York has a child support child calculator here.
Click the following for an expert's overview and a list of articles on child custody and child support.
Disclaimer: The information supplied above is for "educational purposes only" and is not intended to be used as legal advice.