New York State Residency Requirement

To file for divorce in New York State (NYS), you or your spouse must live in NYS as a married person for some time. Most states have residency requirements, but they can vary from state to state. In NYS, you must meet one of the following residency requirements before filing for divorce:

  • The marriage ceremony took place in NYS, and either you or your spouse have been living in NYS for a continuous period of one (1) year before starting a divorce case; or
  • You and your spouse were living in NYS as a married couple, and either you or your spouse lived in NYS for a continuous period of one (1) year before filing for divorce; or
  • The marriage ceremony did not take place in NYS, but either you or your spouse have been living in NYS for a continuous period of two (2) years before starting a divorce case; or
  • The reasons for the divorce happened in NYS, and either you or your spouse have been living in NYS for a continuous period of one (1) year before filing for divorce, or
  • The reasons for the divorce happened in NYS, and when the divorce action started, both you and your spouse resided in NYS.

As noted above, to pursue a divorce in NYS, you must meet only one of the five residency requirements listed.  If there is a challenge to residency in your case, some standard documents that may help you refute this challenge include your lease, proof of rent payments, utility bills, pay stubs, and your driver’s license.

Legal Editor: Dalit A. Yarden, July 2020

Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service with the help and assistance of volunteer legal editors, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or to substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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