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Do you have to legally separate before you can file for divorce?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2023 | Divorce

If your marriage is rocky, you may be itching to be as far away from your husband or wife as possible. You even might want to think about filing for legal separation.

According to the New York Supreme Court, legal separation is a contractual agreement between you and your spouse to live separately with separate finances. While living separately pursuant to a separation agreement for at least a year is one ground for divorce, it is not necessary to legally separate before you can file for divorce. There are some timing rules you should know about, however.

Grounds for divorce in New York

In the Empire State, married couples can divorce for a variety of reasons. Here are the grounds you can use to request an end to your marriage:

  • Abandonment
  • Cruel or inhumane treatment
  • Incarceration
  • Adultery
  • The irretrievable breakdown of your marriage

Each of the grounds for divorce has its own set of legal requirements. As a result, when coming up with your legal basis for ending your marriage, it is imperative to research and understand the legal requirements of your chosen action.

Timing for a divorce in New York

If you have a legal separation agreement and have lived apart from your husband or wife for at least a year, you can likely file for divorce. The other grounds for divorce have their own timing guidelines, though. For example, if you want to divorce because your marriage has reached an irretrievable breakdown, the breakdown must have persisted for at least six months.

Ultimately, if having a fast divorce is high on your priority list, it is beneficial to consider which grounds for divorce have the shortest timeframe requirements.

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