How Long Will No-Fault Divorce Take to Be Finalized for New York?

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

How Long Will No-Fault Divorce Take to Be Finalized for New York?

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

If you are getting a divorce, you probably want to finalize things as quickly as possible so you can move on to the next chapter of your life. No-fault divorce timelines in New York depend on whether you and your spouse agree on major decisions or if the divorce is, instead, contested. If you have children together, the divorce may take longer as you must work through the additional factors of child support and custody. Some no-fault divorces can take as little as a few months while others can take more than a year.

Woman at laptop

Grounds for Divorce

New York state recognizes seven different grounds for divorce.

To get a "no-fault" divorce in New York, you and your spouse agree that your marriage is irretrievably broken and has been for at least six months. As the name implies, neither you nor your spouse needs to prove that the other did anything wrong.

The other six recognized grounds for divorce each come with a burden of proof. Those grounds include cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, imprisonment, adultery, divorce after a legal separation agreement, and divorce after a New York court issues a "judgment of separation."

Requirements for a No-Fault Divorce in New York

To file for divorce in New York, either you or your spouse must meet New York's residency requirement. There are several ways to meet this requirement:

  • At least one of you has lived in New York continuously for the two years leading up to the divorce filing.
  • At least one of you has lived in New York continuously for one year leading up to the divorce filing and you married in New York, lived in New York together as a married couple, or the grounds for your divorce occurred in New York.
  • Both you and your spouse live in New York on the day the divorce filing starts, and the grounds for the divorce occurred in the state.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces in New York

If you and your spouse agree on everything, you can create a divorce settlement and submit it to the court for approval. This is an "uncontested" divorce and can take as little as a few months to finalize. Remember that to obtain a no-fault divorce, your marriage must be irretrievably broken for at least six months before filing.

When spouses do not agree on issues including asset and liability settlement, child support, spousal support, and custody, the divorce is "contested." Contested divorces can take significantly longer to wind through the justice system before a judge issues a final decree and order.

The timeline for every New York divorce case is different; some divorces take months while others take more than a year. Even if you and your spouse agree on financial decisions and have an uncontested divorce, you are still at the mercy of the court's calendar. If the court's docket is full for months, your divorce will take longer.

When you are ready to file for divorce, you can hire a New York family law attorney to help you through the process. Another option is to work with an online service provider.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.