Brooklyn, NY – One of the most important initial steps in filing for a divorce anywhere in the U.S. is to make sure that one or both spouses will meet the state’s requirements for residency, otherwise the case cannot be filed. This is also a common issue for couples in the New York metro area, as many people move in and out of the city each year. 

What is the purpose of residency requirements under state law?

These are general procedural requirements meant to ensure that only people who actually live and reside in each state utilize its family court system to file for their divorce. All states have similar regulations to prevent unnecessary litigation and limit the active caseload at any given time. There are also concerns about jurisdiction, as a couple that has lived in another state or country may have large amounts of property in a different location, and the local courts would not be able to make any decisions to affect its disposition. 

New York’s residency law

The state’s government provides relevant information about the divorce process along with residency issues on their unified court system website. There are three different ways that the residency requirement is met. First, the couple or at least one spouse must have lived in the state of New York for at least two years continuously before the divorce is filed. The second possibility to meet the residency requirement is more complex. At least one member of the couple must have lived in the state for at least one year prior to filing, and either the marriage took place in New York state, the couple lived together in the state while married, or the grounds and reasons for the divorce happened within the state. The third possibility is that both spouses are New York residents at the time of filing, and the grounds for divorce happened within the state’s borders.   

What are grounds for divorce?

New York was the last state to adopt no fault divorce, which is one possible ground for divorce. This means that the couple merely wants to separate for any reason and end the marriage. There are also traditional fault based grounds that can be used in New York such as cheating, abandonment, and imprisonment. In many cases, it is convenient to file for a no fault divorce without having to prove any grounds. 

Firms that assist people with divorces and family law cases

It is important for individuals who are in the process of a divorce or thinking about filing to get professional advice and representation from a local firm that has experience in the family courts. Elliot Green Law Offices helps clients with these matters in the Brooklyn area. 

Firm contact info:

Elliot Green Law Offices

32 Court Street, Suite 404, Brooklyn, NY, 11201


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