Filing for a Judgment of Divorce Under New York’s No Fault Divorce Law: Procedures and Forms

New York was the last state in the United States to offer its residents a no-fault basis for obtaining a judgment of divorce. New York’s no-fault divorce statute became effective on October 12, 2010. The new no-fault ground for divorce is codified in New York’s Domestic Relations Law as Section 170(7), which provides as follows:

The relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months, provided that one party has so stated under oath. No judgment of divorce shall be granted under this subdivision unless and until the economic issues of equitable distribution of marital property, the payment or waiver of spousal support, the payment of child support, the payment of counsel and experts’ fees and expenses as well as the custody and visitation with the infant children of the marriage have been resolved by the parties, or determined by the court and incorporated into the judgment of divorce.

The procedures and forms applicable to no fault divorce are substantially similar to those which are required for the pre-existing, fault grounds (abandonment, cruel treatment, etc.). However, unlike other grounds for divorce, a divorce complaint under the new no fault ground should must state that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

New York no fault divorce forms are available for download online.

In most circumstances, an individual interested in obtaining a uncontested divorce under New York law should file their divorce complaint in the county where either they or their spouse resides. However, on exception to this rule is New York County (Manhattan) which accepts divorce filings from individuals regardless of their county of residence. The divorce papers required for a no fault or uncontested divorce in New York are the same, regardless of the county in which the matter will be filed.

Family Law and Divorce