CNY Mediation Services, Inc.                                                                      Christine Hickey, Attorney Mediator  
120 East Washington St., Suite 711                                                                                  Cristin Manfredi, MS Mediation

Syracuse, New York 13202
T: (315) 422-9756  F: (315) 479-5651

Summary of the Divorce Process

Once the Opting Out/Separation Agreement has been signed, either person may commence an action for divorce. This involves commencing a lawsuit in which one person (the plaintiff) sues the other (the defendant) for divorce.  Effective October 12, 2010, New York State allows an action for divorce to be commenced on any of the following grounds:
  • The cruel and inhuman treatment of the plaintiff by the defendant.
  • The abandonment of the plaintiff by the defendant for a period of one or more years.
  • The confinement of the defendant in prison for a period of three or more consecutive years after the marriage of plaintiff and defendant.
  • The commission of an act of adultery as defined by Domestic Relations Law Section 170 (4).
  • The husband and wife have lived apart pursuant to a decree or judgment of separation for a period of one or more years after the granting of such decree or judgment, and satisfactory proof has been submitted by the plaintiff that he or she has substantially performed all the terms and conditions of such decree or judgment.
  • The husband and wife have lived separate and apart pursuant to a written Agreement of separation, subscribed by the parties thereto and acknowledged or proved in the form required to entitle a deed to be recorded, for a period of one or more years after the execution of such Agreement and satisfactory proof has been submitted by the plaintiff that he or she has substantially performed all the terms and conditions of such decree or judgment. Such Agreement shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the county wherein either party resides.
  • The relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months, provided that one party has so stated under oath.  No judgment shall be granted under this subdivision unless and until the economic issues of equitable distribution of marital property, the payment or waiver of spousal support, the payment of child support, the payment of counsel and experts’ fees and expenses as well as the custody and visitation with the infant children of the marriage have been resolved by the parties, or determined by the court and incorporated into the judgment of divorce.
Source: New York Domestic Relations Law Section 170.

The last ground (under #7 above) is informally considered the “no-fault” grounds for divorce in New York.

When you file for divorce it can either be contested or uncontested.  A contested divorce means that one person is disagreeing with some aspect of the divorce.  It may be an issue about your parenting plan (custody and visitation), support (child support or spousal maintenance), equitable distribution (division of assets and debts), or the grounds for divorce.
An action for divorce is considered uncontested when all the issues are resolved including which grounds for divorce will be used. When an action for divorce is uncontested, the defendant will allow the divorce to be granted by the Court without objection.
You have the option to either hire an attorney to prepare the divorce papers that must be submitted to the judge in order to obtain a divorce, or you may prepare the divorce papers yourselves.  New York State provides the public with divorce forms that contain all the forms that need to be completed and filed with the court along with a copy of your signed and executed Opting Out/Separation Agreement.



CNY MEDIATION SERVICES, Inc.
Syracuse, New York Divorce Mediator 
120 East Washington Street
Suite 711
Syracuse, New York 13202
(315) 422-9756
(315) 479-5651 Fax
mchickey@a-znet.com
Website and Photography by Cristin Manfredi