New Yorkers who have decided that their marriage is no longer working and they need to move forward with a divorce will undoubtedly think about various issues that may come to the forefront. That includes child custody, child support, spousal support and property division. Undoubtedly, these factors are important. However, it is easy to forget the fundamentals of a divorce. If there is a problem with meeting the residency requirements or a common reason for divorce – irretrievable breakdown – it can slow the process significantly.

Understanding the residency requirements

There are basic residency requirements to understand beforehand. The person seeking a divorce or the spouse is required to have lived in the state for at least two consecutive years immediately prior to filing. If they do not meet that requirement, the following can let them divorce in New York: they must have lived in the state for one year, but had the marriage performed in New York State; or they must have lived in the state together as a married couple, and had one reason for the divorce – such as adultery – occur in the state. There is no time duration requirement for state residency if the grounds for divorce happened in New York.

Is the marriage irretrievably broken?

Irretrievable breakdown is a relatively simple way to get a divorce. The spouses must say that the marriage cannot be repaired and there is no possibility of reconciliation. This situation must have lasted for at least six months. Although it is easier to get a divorce by citing irretrievable breakdown, it is not guaranteed that the divorce will be granted. One of the parties must say under oath that the marriage is irretrievably broken and they have met the duration requirement. Also, the sides must have agreed on property division, support, custody, visitation and maintenance or the court has decided on these issues.

Having qualified assistance may be key in a divorce

Although a divorce with irretrievable breakdown as the stated reason and meeting the residency requirements may sound simple, the practical elements may be deceptive. In any case in which a marriage is coming to an end, complex challenges might arise. Whether it is a case in which the sides are relatively amicable or it is contentious, consulting with experienced legal professionals in family law and divorce may be helpful.

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