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How Long Do You Have to be Separated Before Filing for Divorce in NY? │ Heidi Opinsky Law

A Separation Agreement is Different from Filing for a Divorce

Before most couples divorce, they first enter into a separation period to plan out their future and see if they can work through their differences. However, in most cases, the separation doesn’t end well, and the separated couple usually ends up divorcing. Statistics reveal that approximately 90% of women who are separated will divorce within 3 years of the initial separation date. (1)

When a married couple decides that they want to terminate their marriage, a separation agreement is created. In this written contract, the husband and wife will agree on very important matters of their life. The separation agreement will include care and custody of their children, property division, as well as any financial assistance required.

It is important to keep in mind that a separation agreement is very different from a legal divorce. When a couple is separated, they are still not divorced, and they cannot remarry until they undertake the complete divorce process. Once the separation agreement is made, they cannot use it for divorce unless at least one year has passed since the date of separation. If you have decided to file for divorce, it is always a good idea to call a qualified family law attorney and seek their advice before making any serious moves.

Do You Need Grounds to File for Divorce in NY?

New York was the last state to enact No-Fault divorce laws, and they have been in effect for the last decade. This means that you do not need grounds to file for divorce in New York, and you can apply for a divorce if you believe your marriage has broken down irreversibly. To apply for a no-fault divorce, individuals must claim their relationship has broken down irretrievable for at least six months and one party must state this under oath.

Just because no-fault divorce is an option, does not mean that New York no longer has grounds for divorce. If you were wronged in your marriage, you may still apply for a fault-based divorce under certain circumstances.

The grounds for divorce in New York include:

  • Inhumane treatment and cruelty
  • Confinement in prison for three or more years after the marriage
  • Adultery
  • Abandonment for one or more years

When Does Abandonment Become a Ground for Divorce in New York?

Abandonment may refer to actual abandonment when one spouse suddenly leaves with no intention to return, or when one spouse is purposely locked out of the home. Abandonment may also be constructive in nature and may refer to when one spouse refuses to have sexual intercourse with the other for a continuous period of time.

Anyone who has questions or needs help with the divorce process should get in touch with a family lawyer as soon as possible, so they can get proper legal advice and support for their case.

Get Help for Your Divorce Case Through the Help of a Qualified Family Lawyer Today

If you are separated, thinking of filing a divorce, or in the middle of the divorce process, you can get help with your case by getting in touch with a qualified attorney. Contact a family lawyer at Heidi Opinsky Law, LLC today to learn more about the divorce process and to get proper legal help and assistance with your case.

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1. https://legaljobs.io/blog/divorce-rate-in-america/