Divorce and Annulment in New York: What’s the Difference?
Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. In order to obtain a divorce in New York, one must meet certain residency requirements and demonstrate one or more specific grounds for divorce. Residency may be established by demonstrating at least one of the following:
- At least one of the parties must have lived in New York for a continuous period of at least two years immediately prior to the beginning of the divorce action.
- At least one of the parties must have lived in New York for a continuous period of at least one year immediately prior to the beginning of the divorce action, and
a) The marriage ceremony must have taken place in New York; or
b) Both parties must have lived as a married couple in New York.
3. At least one of the parties must have lived in New York for a continuous period of at least one year immediately prior to the start of the divorce action, and the specific grounds for divorce must have taken place in New York.
4. Both parties must be New York residents at the time of the divorce action, and the grounds for divorce must have taken place in New York.
Following establishment of the residency requirements, the parties must demonstrate a specific ground for divorce. The most common grounds in New York are:
- Cruel and inhuman treatment
- Imprisonment of one of the parties
- Irretrievable Breakdown
Annulment is another method of ending a marriage. When a marriage is annulled, the court declares that it was never valid to begin with. In New York, one of the following five grounds must be demonstrated in order to obtain an annulment:
- One or both parties were under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage;
- One or both parties were unable to consent to the marriage due to mental incapacity;
- One or both parties are physically unable to consummate the marriage;
- One or both parties have suffered from incurable mental illness for at least five years; or
- Consent for the marriage was obtained under duress or by coercion or fraud.
In New York, divorce and legal separation are complicated processes. If you are considering pursuing either of these options, please contact an experienced New York family law attorney to discuss your options. At O’Connell and Aronowitz, our matrimonial and family law practice offers experienced counsel to both individuals and families. Our experienced New York family law attorneys have handled hundreds of cases involving complex custody, visitation, and support issues in many counties throughout New York State. Please contact us for a free initial consultation.
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