¿Habla español? | Our firm is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Bengali, Creole, Punjabi, Gujarat, and Afrikaans!

  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Understanding Matrimonial Law In New York

Understanding Matrimonial Law In New York


Marriages and divorces are personal matters. They can be really tough and hard to look at without being emotional about it. Whether you are just starting out in a new marriage or you have decided to move on from it, it is important to have the help of a matrimonial attorney in NYC. No matter how you go about it, marriage and divorce can have legal consequences. You may be focusing on your own emotions, but that does not change the fact that the law will decide how you and your family will be treated.

Matrimonial law in each state of the US varies. So, if you are in New York, having a matrimonial attorney in NYC who knows the New York matrimonial law about marriage and divorce can help protect you and your family. For example, divorce in New York is never an easy process to go through. No matter how long you have been together or how short a time you have been married, it can be a difficult thing to go through. This makes it complex for most couples to handle without help and knowledge of the New York matrimonial law.

Knowing the ins and outs of going through a divorce in New York can help ease some of the stress that many people feel when deciding if getting a divorce is the right choice for their family. Here is what you need to know about New York’s matrimonial laws.

The Basis of Divorce in New York

Basically, the matrimonial law in New York provides certain conditions that must be met for a divorce to be granted. This means that you must show that these conditions exist before the court will give you a divorce. New York has laws that make it possible for people to get divorced based on either fault or no fault.

In most cases, a fault-based divorce will take longer and cost more than a non-fault divorce because you need to prove who is to blame in court. Sometimes, proving who is to blame helps the innocent party in property settlements or when the judge decides on custody. There are seven bases for the grant of divorce as follows:

  1. Irretrievable Breakdown: Basically, if you and your partner have been apart for six months or more, it is considered an irrevocable breakup. That means your marriage is over and cannot be fixed. The court cannot grant you a divorce based on these reasons until things like property, debt, custody of kids, visitation, and spousal and child support are sorted out (if both parties agree) or the court decides.
  2. Ill-Treatment: If your spouse treats you badly, it is called cruel and inhuman treatment. This means that if you keep living together, your health is at risk. But if it has been over 5 years since the last time they treated you badly, you cannot get a divorce for this reason.
  3. Abandonment: If your partner leaves you or does not want to work with you anymore, it is called abandonment. It can last anywhere from one year to over a year.
  4. Imprisonment: If your spouse goes to jail for more than three years, you can divorce them. But if your spouse was released from jail over five years ago, they cannot be divorced on that basis. Also, the jail time had to have started after you got married.
  5. Adultery: If your spouse commits adultery, it is a ground for divorce. But if you encourage them to do it, if you have sex with them after finding out, or if you commit adultery yourself, you cannot get a divorce. It is even worse if it has been more than five years since you found out. You cannot prove adultery yourself, so you need a witness to do it for you.
  6. Legal Separation: If you and your partner have not been living together for at least a year due to an order of legal separation, you can get a court order to divorce. You have to follow all the rules set out in the order. This might not be a good way to divorce because legal separation requires the same evidence as a divorce. This is why a lot of couples skip legal separation and go straight to divorce.
  7. Agreement by Parties: You can get a divorce if you and your spouse have signed an agreement in front of a notary in New York to live apart and have lived apart for 12 months or more. The agreement has to follow certain laws, and if you do not, it will not be valid. That is why it is a good idea to get a matrimonial attorney in NYC to review it for you. You need to follow every word of the agreement.

Residency Condition and Waiting Time

In New York, it is possible to get a divorce if you are married in the state, and one spouse has lived there for at least a year. If you were married and both spouses had lived there for a year, or if the reasons for your divorce came from living in New York for a year or two, then you can file for divorce. There is no waiting time for a judge to make a final order in your case.

Property Division in New York

In New York, marital property is distributed fairly. That means that the assets and debts you and your spouse acquired during your marriage are distributed fairly. This does not mean that it will be shared equally, though. A judge might give a bigger chunk of assets to someone who is making less money and more debts to someone who has a lot of money. In a divorce, only the marital property is divided. This includes the matrimonial house, the money you earned during your marriage, and more.

When deciding how to divide property, the court will take into account your future income, if you are a custodian, if you want to stay in your family home, how much taxes you will owe, and how much assets or business interest you have. If the court feels justice requires it, one spouse can keep their own property, and the other spouse can split the other’s property. A matrimonial attorney in NYC can help you get a fair share of the marital property.

Spousal Support in New York

If you are getting divorced in New York, you do not have to worry about getting spousal support. The judge will look at a few things to decide if it is right for you, like if you need financial support and if the other spouse can pay. They will also take into account how long you have been married, how much each person earns if the receiving spouse can take care of themselves, and how much each person contributes to the marriage financially.

You can get spousal support in one lump sum or as regular monthly payments. If you want to change the amount of spousal support, you have to prove that things have changed so much that the current amount is not enough. Most times, a regular spousal support payment will last for the duration of the marriage. If you are in dire need of financial support during your divorce, you should talk with your matrimonial attorney in NYC to help you convince the court.

Custody Matters in New York

When it comes to custody and visitation in New York, the judge looks at the best interests of the child. Parents can decide who gets custody if it is in their best interest. If both parents cannot agree on a solution, the judge can give custody to one or both. The idea is to keep the child safe. The judge might consider things like the parents’ relationship, the child’s age, the parent’s health and well-being, the parents’ lifestyle, the parent’s history of domestic abuse, siblings and family members, the parents’ home, the parent’s cooperation, the parents’ support, and other things.

If you work out a custody plan with your kid’s other parents, you can take it to court, and it becomes a court order if it is in your kid’s best interest. If the court case goes to trial, the judge decides between physical custody and legal custody. Basically, physical custody is where the kid lives, and legal custody is where the parents have the power to decide what happens to the kid.

If you want to fight for custody of your kids, a matrimonial attorney in NYC can help you.

Get Help!

Going through matrimonial issues is a tough time, but it is nothing to be embarrassed about. Gehi and Associates is here to help you through the tough times and make sure you do not have to deal with any unexpected issues. Our matrimonial attorneys in NYC know that no two matrimonial issues are the same, so it is important to look into settlement options whenever possible.

But if that is not possible, we will fight hard to make sure you get the custody, support, and assets you deserve. Are you ready to move forward with your case? Connect with us now!



1. Who can issue a divorce order in New York?

If you are in New York State and you want to get divorced, you will have to go to the New York State Supreme Court in your county. All State-level divorces are decided by the county Supreme Court in your area. Family Court judges have the power to decide things like child support and custody, but they cannot grant you a divorce.

2. What info should I know before applying for divorce in New York?

In New York, there are some laws that limit your options when it comes to getting a divorce. For example, there are only seven grounds that can be used to get a divorce in the state. The judge will give you a divorce decree that will cover a lot of stuff, like marital assets, debts, custody, visitation, and more.

3. What is the most common ground of divorce in New York?

Most people in New York will try to get a divorce based on an irretrievable breakdown, which is sometimes referred to as a no fault divorce. It first became a reason to get a divorce in New York back in 2010. But it is not the only option.

4. What can make a divorce messy?

Apart from emotional reasons, people may also have financial reasons for wanting to raise a lot of heated arguments in a divorce. The desire to get back at an ex-spouse can also play a part in making the divorce messy.

5. How do I avoid a messy divorce in New York?

If you and your partner can come to an agreement on who gets what, who pays what, and who owes what, you do not need to go to court. Going to court can take a lot longer and cost you more money. Before you file for divorce, get a Family Court order for child support and custody of your kids. Try to work out a deal with your partner before you go to court. Talk to a matrimonial attorney in NYC if you think your partner is being violent.

Share it!

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Free Consultation

Scroll to Top

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Signup to our email newsletter for Legal Updates, Tips & Webinars!

Skip to content