Out-of-State Divorce Issues
Divorce can be a very complicated right from the start. If you and your spouse do not live in the same state, the process could get even more difficult. If you are feeling frustrated, find an attorney that is experienced in dealing with out-of-state divorce issues to smooth the process for you and your family.
Obtaining a Judgment of Divorce as a Non-Resident
While you must meet a residency requirement to obtain a judgment of divorce, you do not need to be a current resident of New York. For example, if your marriage took place in New York and your spouse has resided here for a continuous period of at least one year prior to the divorce, the residency requirement is satisfied. Similarly, if your spouse has resided here for a continuous period of two years prior to the divorce – irrespective of where the marriage occurred – you will satisfy the residency requirement.
Uncontested Divorce When Spouse Lives in a Different State
We have handled many uncontested divorces for clients who reside in New York State but whose spouses do not. A New York court can take jurisdiction or authority over a divorce case in many ways, even if one spouse resides elsewhere. It’s important to consider whether you both agree and one spouse does reside here. Then, we can ensure that your paperwork is properly submitted to the court and you can obtain a divorce in New York State.
Obtaining an Uncontested Divorce When Your Child and Spouse Live in Another State
A challenge arises if there are children of the marriage who do not reside in New York State because, if the children have lived in another state for more than six months, New York State does not have jurisdiction regarding custody of those children. That means any divorce agreement we enter into will not address the issue of custody. In other words, the parties cannot simply direct the New York court to assume jurisdiction regarding that custody issue if their child resides outside of New York and has done so for the past six months.
Because the issuing state retains jurisdiction to modify its own order – absent certain circumstances – modifying an out-of-state order in New York State can be a difficult process. For example, the issuing state will typically retain jurisdiction so long as one party continues to reside there. If, however, the court determines that the issuing state no longer has jurisdiction to modify the order and New York has become the more appropriate state – or if neither party, nor the child, continues to reside in the issuing state – it may be possible to modify your out-of-state divorce order.
If you want an attorney who can make the out-of-state divorce process easier for you, contact our office. We are committed and dedicated to you.