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Residence of Married Persons

Before you can file a divorce in New York, you must meet two main requirements. First, you must have grounds for the divorce. Examples of legal grounds include abandonment, adultery, imprisonment, or cruel and inhumane treatment. In addition, you must meet the residency requirement. While there are multiple ways to meet the residency requirement, NY Dom Rel Law § 231 makes it clear that it is not required that both parties live in New York State at the time the divorce is filed and that one spouse’s residence does not determine the residency another. The law states that one married person who lives in New York State can be deemed a resident, even if his or her spouse lives in another state. To learn more about the process of filing an action for divorce, contact an experienced New York divorce lawyer to discuss the specifics of our case.

Residency and Divorce Actions

There are several ways that you can meet the residency requirements in order to be eligible to commence you action for divorce in New York.

  1. Either you are our spouse must have been living in New York State continuously for at least two years before you commence your action for divorce.
  2. Either you or your spouse must have been living in New York State on the date that you commence your action for divorce and for a year immediately prior to that day. In addition, one of the following must also be true: your marriage was solemnized in New York State, or you lived in New York State with your spouse as a married couple.
  3. Either you are our spouse must have been living in New York State continuously for at least one year before you commence your action for divorce and your grounds for divorce must have happened in New York State.
  4. You and your spouse are residents of New York State on the date you commence your divorce action and your grounds for divorce must have happened in New York.

For purposes of meeting the residency requirement, according NY Dom Rel Law § 231, regardless of where his or her spouse actually lives, as long as a married person lives within New York State at the time that he or she starts the divorce, annulment, or separation action, that married person will be deemed to be a resident of New York. For example, Amy and Jordan live in Pennsylvania. When their marriage started to fall apart, Jordan moved to New York, but Amy stayed in Pennsylvania. Under New York law, Jordan may have standing to commence a divorce or separation action in New York based on living in New York, even though Amy still resided in Pennsylvania.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Required residence of parties: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 230
  2. Sequestration of defendant's property in action for divorce, separation or annulment where defendant cannot be personally served: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 232
  3. Sequestration of defendant's property in action for divorce, separation or annulment where defendant cannot be personally served: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 233
Domestic Relations Law, section 231: Residence of married persons

If a married person dwells within the state when he or she commences an action against his or her spouse for divorce, annulment or separation, such person is deemed a resident thereof, although his or her spouse resides elsewhere.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are considering commencing a divorce action against your spouse, contact an experienced New York divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. A divorce is a complicated process, and there is a lot at stake. It is critical that you are represented by someone who has the skill, knowledge, and resource to protect your interests. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, Westchester County, Suffolk County, and Nassau County.

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My ex-husband hadn't paid child support or the mortgage on the house as he was supposed to. Stephen Bilkis and his team of lawyers were amazing. They stopped the foreclosure on the house, Got a judgment against him and most importantly kept me and my children in the house. Can't say enough good things about him in the firm their compassion hard work and dedication were exceptional. I.G.
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From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
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