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The divorce process in New York

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2023 | Divorce

When you first got married, you probably had it in your mind that it would last forever. Then, you woke up one day and realized that you are no longer happy in your marriage and that you might be happier if you divorced your spouse and moved on with your life. It is very possible that you are not sure how to start the process and what steps to take that will enable you to be happy again. To begin with, if you are not sure you understand any of the divorce process, you might want to go through the basics first.

You might start with information that is so basic that you probably know it already. As a simple concept, a divorce is the final, legal end of a marriage by court order. If your divorce case ends up in court, you may hear the term, “matrimonial action,” which means the same thing.

How do I obtain a divorce through the court?

The Supreme Court of New York is the only court that is allowed to handle divorce cases. You will need to go to the Supreme Court in the county in which you and your spouse currently live.

Family Court is unable to grant you a divorce, although Family Court can help you to settle matters such as child support and visitation, child custody and spousal support.

What is the difference between a divorce and an annulment?

A divorce is a process that ends a valid marriage. An annulment, on the other hand, establishes that the marriage was never legally valid. Additionally, a divorce and an annulment have different grounds connected to them. New York allows for no-fault divorce, but for an annulment, you need to establish one of the following criteria:

  • Bigamy: One of the people in the relationship was married to someone else when the second marriage began.
  • Physical incapability: If one of the people is unable to have sexual relations, that is grounds for an annulment.
  • Insanity: If one of the two people becomes insane after the marriage began. The insanity has to have lasted for at least five years. If the insane spouse is a minor, the sane spouse may be asked to support that spouse.
  • Mental incapacity: One spouse cannot understand the nature, effect and consequences of marriage because of their mental incapacity.
  • Under duress: One of the spouses agreed to the marriage because they were forced to agree.
  • Fraud: One spouse deceived the other spouse. The fraud must extend to the idea that the fraudulent spouse must have withheld certain information that would have influenced the other spouse if they had been aware of that information.

How do you start the divorce process?

The divorce process is relatively simple. First, you need to purchase an index number from the County Clerk’s office and file a summons with notice or a summons and verified complaint, which states the reason for the divorce. After you have generated the papers, you will need an uninvolved person to serve your spouse the papers to sign.

It is often emotionally difficult to go through the divorce process and having the right support that can get you through the experience can be tremendously helpful. Once you have been through the process and have worked out every aspect of your divorce, you can begin to understand that you are embarking on a new phase in your life and it is one in which you will hopefully find happiness.