How Long Does It Take To Get a Divorce in New York?
As a resident of New York, you may be wondering how long it takes to get divorced in your state. While the answer to this question varies depending on the circumstances of each divorce case, generally speaking, you can expect to wait anywhere from several months to over a year before your divorce is finalized.
With this in mind, if you are thinking about getting divorced in New York, it’s a good idea to research your options and find support. With the right support system, you can move forward with confidence and peace of mind as you navigate what is undoubtedly one of the most challenging chapters of your life.
Steps to a New York divorce
Here are the most important things to know as you begin your divorce journey.
You must meet New York state residency requirements
To file for divorce in New York, one spouse (at minimum) must have resided in the state for one year prior to filing.
There is no waiting period for uncontested divorce
Some states require you to wait several months before a divorce can be finalized, even if you and your spouse agree on everything and just need a judge to sign off. But the state of New York does not impose a waiting period after you file for uncontested divorce. If you and your spouse agree on everything, your divorce could happen quickly.
There are two types of divorce: fault and no-fault
In New York, there are two main types of divorce: fault and no-fault divorce. While both involve the dissolution of a marriage, they differ in terms of their “why.”
A fault divorce is typically granted when one partner commits some kind of wrongdoing or marital misconduct, such as adultery or domestic abuse. A no-fault divorce can be granted when a married couple simply agrees they don’t want to be married anymore. The grounds for no-fault divorce in New York state simply cite an “irretrievably broken” marital status.
A no-fault divorce is almost always the faster option. That said, a fault divorce may be better if one spouse significantly contributed to the end of the marriage. For example, it could help with property distribution, providing more assets to the spouse not at fault.
Whether you choose to pursue a fault or no-fault divorce in New York depends on your individual circumstances and priorities.
You may have to attend mediation
Although there are exceptions, the state of New York often requires divorcing couples to attend at least one mediation session.
The point of mediation isn’t to save the marriage. Instead, it’s to help the divorcing couple reach an agreement on matters of property distribution outside of a New York court.
Mediation encourages couples to work through the details of their divorce settlement in a collaborative and amicable way. A successful mediation outcome may look different for each couple.
The success of mediation is impacted by each person’s willingness to participate. For the process to move smoothly, each person must be willing to listen to the other's concerns and work toward common goals. This requires a good deal of emotional maturity and openness as well as effective communication skills.
Another key factor to mediation success is the presence of a skilled professional who knows how to guide the process. Divorce mediators are trained in conflict resolution and have experience working with couples going through difficult divorces. A good mediator will provide guidance throughout the mediation process, helping spouses navigate difficult issues like child custody arrangements and property division.
Free download: The Ultimate Guide to Divorce Mediation
There may be a final hearing
To grant a divorce in New York, a judge needs information about your arrangements for property division, child custody, and spousal support payments. If your mediation was successful, the judge will examine your mediated settlement agreement. Upon review of this document, they may make minor changes if something doesn't align with the law. Otherwise, they will most likely accept it as drafted.
If you and your spouse have agreed to all matters, you’ll probably be able to avoid going to court, unless the judge has questions or concerns about your agreement. At the hearing, the judge will ask both you and your spouse if you have agreed to what's in the marital settlement agreement. If you were unable to reach a final agreement on all or even some terms, the judge will resolve those for you and tell you the outcome at this hearing.
At the end of the hearing, the judge will sign a divorce decree, officially and legally ending your marriage.
Watch: How Long Will My Divorce Take?
FAQ about New York divorce
What if my divorce is taking a long time?
Many people worry that their divorce is taking too long. If this is true for you, there are a few things you can do, including speaking with a divorce attorney about your options, reaching out to court officials for more information, and exploring alternative dispute resolution options like mediation.
A primary reason why divorce often takes longer than expected is also a simple one: The many legal issues involved in ending a marriage take time to resolve. These issues may include child custody, child support, property division, and spousal support, all of which can lengthen the divorce process.
Another potential reason why a divorce may take longer than expected involves disputes or disagreements between spouses. For example, one spouse may inadvertently delay divorce proceedings by refusing to cooperate or communicate with their soon-to-be-ex. This adds time to the process overall.
How long will my New York divorce take?
Getting divorced in New York can take anywhere from several months to several years. Your timeline hinges on the circumstances of your divorce case, including how complex it is and how amicable the two of you are during divorce proceedings.
One thing you can do to help speed up the process is to be as cooperative and communicative as possible throughout the divorce process. This means responding promptly to any requests from your lawyer or the court, being honest and transparent about all aspects of your marriage, and working together with your spouse whenever possible.
It's also important to be patient during this stressful time. Even if your case seems relatively straightforward, unexpected delays or complications may arise along the way.
We are here to remind you that you are not alone. There are resources available to guide you through this difficult process and support you in moving forward with your life after divorce. Hello Divorce is one of them. We’re proud of the affordable online divorce plans and services we offer. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit our calendar to schedule your free 15-minute phone consultation.