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Serving Suffolk & Nassau Counties

What are legal grounds for a New York divorce?

It is possible to file for a no-fault divorce in New York, meaning you do not have to prove that your spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. The only legal reason you need to give in this case is that your marriage has "irretrievably broken down". As long as you have fulfilled the residency requirements, you can begin the divorce proceedings.

How We Can Help

As an experienced trial lawyer, I understand how to help my clients effectively navigate their divorce. My goal is to ensure that your rights and best interests are protected throughout your case. Whether a peaceful mediation is reached or matters must be taken to court, I am always prepared to represent you in Suffolk & Nassau Counties. Feel free to reach me now to learn how I may be of service to you and your family.

Getting a divorce is a serious step and should be handled with the proper legal precautions. Without the right counsel on your side, you could leave your children or your property vulnerable. It is crucial that you make sure your rights and your family are protected during this challenging time.

We're On Your Side

Please contact James F. Hagney, Esq., P.C. for a free initial consultation.
Experienced representation is just a phone call away.



That being said, there are still grounds (legal reasons) for a fault divorce:

  • Adultery
  • One to three years of abandonment
  • One to three years of imprisonment
  • Domestic violence, or other "cruel and inhuman treatment"

Even though it is still possible to file for a divorce for any of these reasons, they will likely have little effect on spousal maintenance and property division issues. Depending on the reason, however, fault could play a role in custody and visitation matters.

What is the residency requirement?

If you want to file a divorce in Suffolk & Nassau Counties, you have a few different ways of fulfilling this prerequisite to filing for divorce. The first way is for at least one spouse to have resided in New York for a minimum of two years before petitioning for divorce. If you got married in New York, then the minimum is brought down to one year of residency. If you were both residents of New York while living as a married couple, you would likewise need only one year of residing in New York to begin the divorce. If you are getting a fault-based divorce in New York, then if the reason happened in this state, you could file right now if you are both New York residents. If only one of you is a New York resident, then you could start a divorce if one of you has been a resident of the state for at least one year.

Are divorce papers available to the public?

No, divorce paperwork is only made available to spouses and their attorneys. This includes the original petition, any affidavits, findings of fact, conclusions of law, separation agreements, and even final court orders regarding the dissolution of marriage.

What is involved in the divorce process?

During a divorce case, many considerations will need to be made before the marriage is officially dissolved. My firm is here to help you review the following issues surrounding your divorce:

  • Property and asset division
  • Marital debts
  • Child custody
  • Spousal support

Whether you have been depending on your spouse for financial support or want to make sure your spouse doesn't take advantage of you, my firm is here to help. When you work with me, I make sure that all marital assets are divided in an equitable manner both in contested and uncontested divorce.. I also make sure that your children's best interests are put first, ensuring they are treated fairly throughout the entire divorce process. 

Huntington Collaborative Divorce Lawyer
Contact My Suffolk County Law Firm for a Peaceful Divorce

After countless theatrical displays of divorce portrayed in Hollywood movies today, it would be enough to make anyone head for the hills. However, sometimes divorce is a necessary way to resolve long-lasting family complications. Fortunately, just because it's necessary does not mean it has to escalate to film-worthy heights.

At my firm, I focus on handling collaborative divorce cases. My goal is to provide you with the smoothest process possible and avoid unnecessary legal drama. With nearly 30 years of family law experience on my side, I can help you reach your desired terms in a cooperative setting.

What is collaborative divorce?

Typically, most divorce matters are taken to court, where terms and conditions are decided upon by a judge. While this does work for many families, it is not always the best option. Collaborative divorce is a way to stay out of the courtroom and reach your desired results in a way that is pleasing to both parties involved.

Each spouse is equipped with their own attorney who is proficient in collaborative law. Then, through a series of meetings, both parties work together to come to an agreeable settlement. Before any meetings take place, the spouses and their lawyers sign an agreement that says the case will not be taken to court. With the threat of court out of the picture, it often diminishes much of the tension common in divorce proceedings and allows for amicable discussion.

Why should I get a collaborative divorce?

If you are considering pursuing a collaborative divorce, I encourage you to talk with a Huntington divorce lawyer as soon as possible. As a legal professional, I can walk you through the benefits of this type of divorce.

Some of the advantages of collaborative divorce include:

  • Places a higher value on the needs and desires of your children
  • Solutions and settlements are favorable for both parties
  • You are able to go deeper into problem-solving, instead of simply covering surface issues
  • You call the shots, rather than relinquishing control to the court

Collaborative divorce puts the needs of you and your spouse at the forefront. You set the pace and determine the number of meetings between parties which you believe to be necessary.

Pursue a Peaceful Marriage Dissolution Today

The last thing you want is to deal with more drama and frustrations when going through a divorce. A collaborative divorce may be the option if you're seeking to keep the peace and resolve matters equally with your spouse. As your Huntington divorce lawyer, I can serve as your mediator, starting today. 

Huntington Contested Divorce Lawyer
Skillfully Handling Complex Divorce Cases in Suffolk & Nassau Counties

Matters involving the family are always difficult and a contested divorce is no different. Strife between spouses can create long-term relational problems between family members and children. If you are pursuing a contested divorce, you can ease the process by contacting a Huntington, NY divorce attorney.

With over 30 years of legal experience, I am fully equipped to assist you every step of the way. I understand that family law requires delicacy and tact. You can trust James F. Hagney, Esq., P.C. to bring a level of professionalism to your case that you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

Grounds for an Uncontested Divorce

Prior to 2012, New York did not allow for a no-fault divorce, meaning that all divorces must be filed on predetermined fault grounds. The fault grounds included:

  • Cruel and inhumane treatment which endangers one spouse
  • Abandonment of one spouse for at least one year
  • Adultery
  • Imprisonment of one spouse

For those unable to prove one of these things, it made obtaining a divorce very difficult. However, no-fault grounds have now been added. These no-fault grounds include:

  • Prior to filing for divorce, the spouses have lived separately for upwards of one year
  • Both spouses agree under oath that the marriage has broken down irretrievably for at least 6 months
  • An Agreement of Separation has been enacted and both spouses have lived apart for one or more years

A contested divorce takes place when both parties are in disagreement regarding the divorce itself or the terms and conditions of the divorce. There are several issues which may be at stake. Spousal support, child custody and visitation, child support, and property division are common hot-button issues that require mediation and the assistance of the court. It may be in your best interest to work with a Huntington divorce attorney who can serve as an outside party and ensure that your desires are met.