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You Want To File For Divorce in New York: What Are Your Rights?

You Want To File For Divorce in New York: What Are Your Rights?

When your marriage breaks down and there is no possibility of a reconciliation, most couples will file for divorce. You can divorce your husband or wife without his or her consent in New York. This is just one of your many rights. Other rights both couples have in divorce proceedings could include:

  • An interest in all marital assets and debts acquired during the marriage.Each person has a financial interest in all assets, cash, investments, and debts accumulated over the course of the marriage. This includes the marital home.
  • Access to minor children. You have a right to have access and/or custody to your minor children.
  • The right to remain in the marital home until the divorce is finalized. You do not have to move out of the marital home right away. Some couples do decide to remain living in the same home, for financial reasons, but live apart and separate.
  • The right to seek a restraining order against the other person.In violent domestic situations, you do have the right to request a restraining order from the courts.


In New York, the most common divorce proceeding is called a "No Fault" divorce. A "No Fault" divorce is where one party wants to end the marriage because it has broken down. This type of divorce has been the standard since the state changed divorce laws back in October 2010. There are two types of divorce proceedings: Uncontested and Contested.


An uncontested divorce, although still often adversarial, includes a couple willing to work together to create the settlement and divorce agreement. An uncontested divorce can be more desirable for couples who are willing to come to a mutually-beneficial agreement regarding division of property, child custody, visitation, access, and so on. Even in an uncontested divorce, however, it is still in your best interests to be represented by your own divorce lawyer, as it could still be necessary to go to court to have the divorce finalized.


In a contested divorce, one or both people refuse to agree on various aspects of the divorce. They might not agree with what the other's division of property proposal was or have issues with child custody, access, and visitation schedules. When a couple cannot reach an agreement on their own, then they place all decisions in the hands of the courts, which are then made by the judge and considered final, with a few exceptions in regards to support payments, as those can change.