You have thought it over and decided that it is time to get a divorce. Now what? Unless you have been through divorce before, you could have no idea how to begin, let alone what the process is.

A good first step is to ensure that you are eligible to divorce in your state. New York State law has certain residency requirements, any of which can be true:

  • You OR your spouse has resided in New York State for at least two years
  • You AND your spouse reside in New York, AND the grounds for divorce took place there
  • You OR your spouse has resided in New York for at least one year, AND
    • You got married in New York
    • You and your spouse lived in New York during the marriage, or
    • The grounds for divorce took place in New York

“Grounds for divorce” can mean several things in New York. The marriage can be irretrievably broken. Adultery, cruel and inhuman treatment, and abandonment are other legal grounds for divorce.

A family law attorney can help you determine whether you can file for divorce in New York. There are several ways of finding the right divorce attorney for you. Besides searching on the Internet, you can ask friends and relatives who have gone through divorce for a referral.

The attorney will likely ask you to bring as many financial documents as possible. These can include bank and investment account statements and tax returns. He or she may also ask for personal and employment information, and information about your children, if you have any.

Getting divorce can seem scary and confusing. Having an experienced attorney on your side can help make the process smoother.