How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in New York?

When most people have decided to get a divorce, there is little chance of reconsideration. By the time they’ve settled on a divorce, they’re ready to go through the process quickly and move on. Long, drawn-out divorces can be stressful, emotional, and difficult for spouses and their children. Therefore, one of the most frequent concerns brought to a New York divorce lawyer is the issue of the amount of time the divorce will take to be finalized.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in New York?

There’s no simple answer to how long it takes to get a divorce in New York. Every divorce is a bit different in that the many factors that influence the timeline will differ from divorce to divorce. Depending on the situation, a divorce could be finalized in just a few months or drag on for years. However, divorces in New York can often go more quickly than those in other states.

One of the most important elements in the timing of a divorce in New York is that there is no mandatory waiting period that needs to be observed before a divorce can proceed. In many states, there is a requirement that couples must live separately for around six months to one year, with at least one of them intending to divorce before they may legally divorce. New York does not have any requirement like this.

What Are New York Residency Requirements for Divorce?

Although New York’s lack of a waiting period can make divorces quicker for some, the state has complex residency requirements that can force others to wait. For those who have always lived in New York and were married here, these aren’t an issue. However, others must meet one of the following qualifications before they can divorce in the state:

  • If the marriage didn’t take place in the state, one or both spouses have been living in New York for at least two years before the divorce.
  • The reason for the divorce occurred in New York, and both spouses were residents at the time.
  • The marriage ceremony was held in New York, and one spouse was a resident for a minimum of one year prior to filing for divorce.
  • The couple was living together in New York with at least one as a resident for one year before the divorce.

What Factors Influence the Timeline of a Divorce?

As long as residency requirements are met, one of the biggest factors influencing timing is whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. The difference between these categories is whether or not couples can come to an agreement on the major elements of the divorce.

If things like child custody, property division, spousal maintenance, and other issues can be resolved quickly and are uncontested, a divorce could be finalized within two to six months in most cases. However, if a divorce is contested and there is significant conflict around these issues, it’s not uncommon for some divorces to take years to proceed.

Beyond these major elements, things like completing and filing paperwork promptly and the court’s current caseload can all have a minor effect on the timing. One of the most effective means of accelerating the process is working with a New York divorce lawyer.

They can help with ensuring paperwork is filed properly, and a separation agreement is complete and meets all requirements. They can also be a tremendous help in negotiating the central elements of the divorce, minimizing conflict, and resolving things quickly.


Q: Can a Spouse Refuse to Divorce in New York?

A: In New York, there is no means by which a spouse can prevent a divorce from occurring, as the state allows for no-fault divorce. However, this does not mean they don’t have the ability to make the process difficult. When a divorce is contested, and there is significant conflict around important issues, such as child custody, property division, and spousal maintenance, it could cause the process to drag on for years.

Q: How Long Must You Be Separated Before You Can Get a Divorce in New York?

A: Some states require a period of separation and living apart before a divorce can take place. New York, though, is not one of those states. There is no wait time for a divorce, so as long as you meet the residency requirements, you can file for divorce as soon as you decide that it is the right choice for you.

Q: How Can a Divorce Lawyer Help With the Time It Takes to Get a Divorce?

A: A lawyer can accelerate the divorce process by using their knowledge and experience to smoothly and quickly negotiate a separation agreement, as long as the other side is willing. Trying to fill out paperwork and negotiate by yourself can make a divorce take much longer.

Q: What Should I Look for in a New York Divorce Lawyer?

A: You want a lawyer with a depth of knowledge and experience in divorce and family law, but it’s also important that you find someone who you are comfortable with. You want to be sure you can trust your lawyer with such important matters. Your lawyer should also be transparent about costs before you begin working together.

Trotto Law Firm, P.C., Can Help Your Divorce Go More Quickly

The pace of your divorce will be influenced by both you and the other spouse. This lack of control can leave people feeling frustrated, but as long as both sides are working with a New York divorce lawyer, the process will be much quicker.

Divorce lawyers have extensive experience in handling divorces and are familiar with the challenges that can arise throughout the process. We can also help with setting expectations that can reduce the likelihood of conflict and give you peace of mind.

At Trotto Law Firm, P.C., we work with our clients to make the divorce as smooth a process as we possibly can. Contact us for help with your divorce.

Let’s Begin Our Legal Partnership Today

Contact Us

Contact us today using our consultation form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.