Every state has different requirements in terms of how to complete a divorce, but all require a judge to review and approve the divorce settlement or if spouses can’t agree to a settlement, decide how property will be divided and how parenting time will be shared. Until you have a court order by a judge, you are not officially divorced and cannot remarry.
If you want to get a divorce in New York, one of the following must apply:
You were married in New York and one spouse has lived in the state for at least one year.
You lived in New York as a married couple and either spouse has lived in the state for at least one year, or
You or your spouse has lived in the state for at least two years.
New York is a state of “Equitable Distribution” rather than “Community Property.” In the United States, 9 out of 50 states are states of “Community Property.” The rest are states of “Equitable Distribution.”
Marital Property is divided equitably in New York, meaning that property and debts acquired during the marriage are divided between the spouses based on what is fair, which does not necessarily mean the division must be equal. The court will consider each spouse’s future financial circumstances, a custodial parent’s need to stay in the family home, the tax consequences to each spouse of any given division and the value of assets or business interests.
New York courts may order one spouse to pay maintenance. The judge will review factors to determine the amount of the order, such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s current and future earning ability, the receiving spouse’s ability to become self-supporting, and each spouse’s financial contributions to the marriage.
New York courts calculate child support based on the combined income of both parents. Child support obligations continue until the child turns 21.
In making a child custody or visitation order, New York courts are guided by the best interests of the child. The court may award custody to one or both parents, with the goal being to provide the child with the most stable environment possible. Once it is ordered, to modify custody, you must show that circumstances have changed and that it is in the child’s best interest to change the agreement.
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