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7 New York divorce FAQs

Given the current rate of divorce in New York and throughout the country, it is highly likely that someone you know has been through a divorce. But even with 40 - 50% of all marriages ending in divorce, there are still many questions about the process. Each state has its own set of rules and regulations surrounding divorce. For the state of New York, we will address and answer seven commonly asked questions about the divorce process.

#1: Where do I go for a divorce?

In the state of New York, only a Supreme Court Judge can legally grant a divorce. The Supreme Court that presides over the county that you and your spouse currently live in is where you'll need to go to file for the divorce.

#2: What are the grounds for divorce in New York?

Legally acceptable reasons for a divorce in New York include cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, prison confinement for over three years, adultery, ongoing separation either by judgment, a decree, or separation agreement, or an irretrievable breakdown.

#3: Do I need a lawyer to get divorced?

While it is possible to divorce without the assistance of a lawyer, it is highly advisable that you first seek legal advice. Divorce can be very complicated. If you have finances and property to divide or child custody to determine, it is best to utilize the expertise of a lawyer.

#4: What is a statement of net worth?

This is a sworn statement required by the court that must be signed in front of a notary. The statement of net worth lists all the details of your financial information including all income, property, assets, debts and expenses. An experienced divorce attorney can assist you in ensuring that the statement of net worth is accurate and help uncover assets a spouse may be trying to hide.

#5: What is equitable distribution?

Equitable distribution is the way that the courts divide the marital property in New York. It does not mean that the property is divided in half, but it is divided as fairly as possible based on the circumstances surrounding the divorce.

#6: What is a separation agreement?

This is a written document that covers the time period between the separation and the official divorce. It addresses issues such as child support and custody, division of marital property, and responsibility for debts.

#7: Do we have to go to court to get divorced?

The only person who can legally grant the divorce is a Supreme Court Judge in New York. However, if the divorce is uncontested, it is possible to have the judge issue a judgment of divorce without actually going to court.

Divorce can be very stressful and very complicated. The best way to ensure that your legal rights are protected, even in potentially uncontested cases, is to seek the advice of an attorney. Issues may come up throughout the divorce process, and an experienced lawyer can guide you through the process.

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