Is there a residency requirement before a Court in the State of New York will exercise jurisdiction over your cause of action for divorce?

Generally, yes.

If you are seeking to file a claim against another person (or business entity, government actor, etc.), in any area of the law, you must begin the case in the appropriate forum. Failing to file in the proper Court may result in dismissal before a judge even gets to hear the merits of your case.

In New York, the Supreme Court has subject-matter jurisdiction over marital actions. So, procedurally, if you’re filing for divorce, how do you know when Supreme Court will be able to hear your case? Must the parties reside in the State of New York for a certain period of time before a Court will exercise jurisdiction? The New York Domestic Relations Law provides guidance.

  • Were you and your spouse married in New York, but since relocated out of state?
  • Did you reside together as a married couple in New York at any point during the marriage, but no longer reside in the state?
  • Did the cause of action arise in New York, meaning: did the “harm” occur within the state, but both parties are no longer New York residents?

If any of the above apply, residence within the State of New York by either party for at least 1 YEAR is required.

If none of the above apply, then the residency requirement is 2 YEARS.

  • Are both parties New York residents AND the cause of action arose within the state? If so, there is NO residency requirement, and either party may file for divorce.

If you believe you may have a cause of action for divorce in the State of New York, we encourage you to contact Capasso & Associates LLC at (518) 374-1800 and we will be able to answer any questions you may have!

Posted by Capasso & Associates LLC