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Does New York Require Separation Before Divorce? – NY

Brewster Attorneys Offer Advice about Separation Before Divorce

New York law firm counsels clients about steps to ending their marriages

Whether you must be separated before divorcing in New York depends upon your filing grounds. Our attorneys at the law firm of Needle | Cuda, with an office located in Brewster, have extensive experience helping clients who are divorcing on both fault and no-fault grounds effectively navigate all the required steps to ending their marriages. We can advise you to ensure that your divorce filing is properly carried out.

Divorce filing grounds in New York

To determine whether separation is required in a New York divorce, it is necessary to understand the different filing grounds. Fault grounds include:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment for at least one year, either physically leaving the home or refusing to have sex with the other spouse
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Imprisonment for at least three years during the marriage

To divorce on fault grounds, you must prove that your spouse committed the misconduct that you allege.

No fault grounds include:

  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for at least six months
  • Legal separation of at least one year under a separation agreement
  • Separation for at least one year under a court-ordered judgement

To divorce based on an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, you do not have to prove fault or be separated; you can simply state your marriage has broken down.

Divorce grounds requiring separation

Sometimes people who become legally separated are not sure if they want to divorce. However, if you do want to divorce after being legally separated under a separation agreement or court-ordered judgement (which is rarely used), you must live separate and apart for at least one year. After a year has passed, as long as you have adhered to all the terms of your separation agreement, you can obtain what is called a conversion divorce, which is an uncontested divorce. In a conversion divorce, you convert the terms of your separation agreement or judgement regarding property division, child custody and visitation, child support, alimony and any other areas into your divorce decree. We can help you file for a conversion divorce when you have been legally separated for at least a year.

Can I get a conversion divorce if I lived in a separate home from my spouse but was not legally separated?

To obtain a conversion divorce, you must have a signed and notarized separation agreement or court-ordered separation judgement and have lived separately for at least one year since the agreement or judgement was put in place. If you simply moved out but did not legally separate, you are not eligible for a conversion divorce. We can discuss your options for divorcing if you are in this situation.

Contact a skilled New York law firm for help with your divorce

At Needle | Cuda, with an office in Brewster, we skillfully represent clients in contested and uncontested divorces, ensuring that they achieve the most advantageous outcomes for their unique situations. You can speak to one of our attorneys by calling 203-557-9500 or contacting us online to schedule a consultation.

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