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A divorce severs a marriage. To file for a divorce in New York, you must first have jurisdiction of the court. In general, either party must have resided in New York state for one year prior to the commencement of the action, provided that certain other criteria are met.

The plaintiff commences the action by purchasing an index number and filing the appropriate paperwork with the clerk of the court. The plaintiff selects the venue of the case, which is the county where the case will be litigated.

Grounds for divorce are:

— Cruel and inhuman treatment;

— Abandonment for at least one year;

— Incarceration of the other spouse for at least three years;

— Adultery;

— Living separate and apart under a written separation agreement or under a court judgment of separation for at least one year and the spouse seeking the divorce has substantially complied with the terms of the agreement or judgment;

— Irretrievable breakdown in relationship for a period of at least six months immediately prior to the commencement of the action. This is the new "no-fault" ground that became effective in Oct. 2010. The parties must first resolve their ancillary issues of custody, support and equitable distribution before a divorce will be granted on this basis.

The parties can resolve some or all of their issues without the intervention of the court. However, only the court can grant a divorce. There are many phases in a contested matrimonial. Either party can seek a temporary award, such as custody, support or legal fees, during the pendency of an action based upon a variety of factors.

The court will permit detailed discovery, particularly on financial matters, and a trial will eventually be held on any issues which remain unresolved.

At Philip A. Kusnetz P.C., you will receive personal attention and dedication to your case. I am experienced in all types of matrimonial actions, ranging from high-conflict cases involving custody, relocation, support, and allegations of abuse and domestic violence; high net worth cases involving substantial assets and businesses; as well as relatively uncontested matters and mediations.

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