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Your marriage is over, and it’s time to get a divorce. Many people are familiar with the basics of divorce, but the details are confusing and a bit on the stressful side when it becomes a personal situation. There is no shame in ending your marriage, and you shouldn’t feel the pressure to stay in a marriage in which you no longer feel good. Your life is your life, and you are free to file for divorce in Manhattan when you realize your marriage is not going to work.

What reasons may I divorce my spouse in Manhattan?

You can divorce your spouse for any reason you see fit in Manhattan, though there are a few legal definitions you’ll need to consider. You can decide your marriage is over for no other reason than you simply do not like your spouse, do not love your spouse, or even because you are in love with someone else. It’s your choice, but you must know which legal definition your reason falls within in terms of New York divorce laws.

1. Irreconcilable Differences – You must be able to say honestly that your marriage has been over for a period of six months or more no matter how you’ve tried to make it work.
2. Cruel and Inhuman Treatment – If your spouse has abused you or treated you in a manner considered cruel, inhuman, or illegal, you may file for divorce for this reason. This includes abuse of all types.
3. Adultery – If one or both of you cheated on the other, you may cite this in your divorce.
4. Separation of More than One Year – Some people decide to go through with a trial separation to see if they can work on their marriage while living apart. If you’re working on this and you’ve lived apart for more than a year without any help with your marriage, you can file for divorce citing this as the reason.
5. Prison Confinement of Three or More Years – If you or your spouse have been in jail for three or more consecutive years during your marriage, you may file for divorce.
6. Abandonment – If your spouse left you and your family and hasn’t been back in more than a year, it’s considered abandonment.

No-fault divorce is the most common grounds in New York. It’s the citing of irreconcilable differences in your divorce decree so as not to blame any one person for the demise of your marriage. It does make the case a bit easier, but it’s still a very personal situation.

How does it work?

Once you make the decision to file for divorce, you file the paperwork with an attorney or on your own at the office of the local Clerk of Court. This paperwork is then typed up and presented to your spouse during a process called being served. The spouse has a specific time frame to respond by either ignoring the response, agreeing with it, or outlining terms of his or her own. Depending on how your spouse responds, the process is ongoing.

Hire an Attorney

Not every divorce in Manhattan is ugly and contentious, but many are. Even the simplest divorce case has a chance to turn ugly when one or both parties decide they want to contest every word of the divorce agreement. It’s time to hire an attorney with ample experience working with New York divorce laws to work for you. An attorney can help you make the divorce process faster and less stressful, and an attorney can help you leave your marriage with more of what you want.

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