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

As a resident of New York, you may be wondering how long it takes to get divorced in your state. While the answer to this question varies depending on the circumstances of each divorce case, generally speaking, you can expect to wait anywhere from several months to over a year before your divorce is finalized.

With this in mind, if you are thinking of getting divorced in New York, it’s a good idea to research your options and find support. With the right support system, you can move forward with confidence and peace of mind as you navigate what is undoubtedly one of the most challenging chapters of your life.

Steps to a New York divorce

Here are the most important things to know as you begin your divorce journey.

You must meet New York state residency requirements

There are three ways to meet New York residency requirements to file for a divorce:

  1.  Be a resident for two years. You or your spouse must have lived in New York State for at least two years continuously before the initial divorce paperwork was filed.
  2.  Be a resident for one year. One of you has lived in the state for one year, and you got married in the state, have lived in the state as a married couple, or the grounds for divorce happened in New York State.
  3.  Be a current resident. Both you and your partner were residents on the day the divorce was started, and the grounds for divorce happened within the state.

There is no waiting period for uncontested divorce

Some states require you to wait several months before a divorce can be finalized, even if you and your spouse agree on everything and just need a judge to sign off. But the state of New York does not impose a waiting period after you file for an uncontested divorce. If you and your spouse agree on everything, your divorce could happen quickly.

There are two types of divorce: fault and no-fault

In New York, there are two main types of divorce: fault and no-fault divorce. While both involve the dissolution of a marriage, they differ in terms of their “why.”

A fault divorce is typically granted when one partner commits some kind of wrongdoing or marital misconduct, such as adultery or domestic abuse. A no-fault divorce can be granted when a married couple agrees they don’t want to be married anymore. The grounds for no-fault divorce in New York state simply cite an “irretrievably broken” marital status.

A no-fault divorce is almost always the faster option. That said, a fault divorce may be better if one spouse significantly contributed to the end of the marriage. For example, it could help with property distribution, providing more assets to the spouse not at fault.

Whether you choose to pursue a fault or no-fault divorce in New York depends on your circumstances and priorities.

You may have to attend mediation

The state of New York often requires divorcing couples to attend at least one mediation session. If your case involves domestic violence, substance abuse, or child abuse, it isn’t appropriate for mediation. However, other cases could benefit from mediation.

The point of mediation isn’t to save the marriage. Instead, it’s to help the divorcing couple reach an agreement on matters of property distribution outside of a New York court.

During mediation, a neutral third party helps the couple work through complex issues and reach a mutually agreeable settlement. You could use mediation to resolve issues such as the following:

  • Child custody
  • Child visitation schedules
  • Child support payments
  • Spousal support payments

Mediation encourages couples to work through the details of their divorce settlement in a collaborative and amicable way.

You can help your mediation work smoothly by being cooperative. You’re not required to give in to everything your spouse might want. However, you can look for common ground with your spouse. For example, instead of automatically rejecting your partner’s request for child visitation on Christmas, you could ask for another holiday that works for you, like Thanksgiving.

Many people have arguments about finances. Sticking to your financial disclosure forms can be helpful. Don’t exaggerate about how much things like your house or car are worth. Stick with facts you can prove.

Another key factor to mediation success is the presence of a skilled professional who knows how to guide the process. Divorce mediators are trained in conflict resolution and have experience working with couples going through difficult divorces. A good mediator will provide guidance throughout the mediation process, helping spouses navigate difficult issues like child custody arrangements and property division.

The American Bar Association says mediation ends in agreement 70% to 80% of the time, and it tends to move cases along quickly. A trial might take years to resolve, while mediation could be finished in a few hours.

There may be a final hearing

For a judge to grant a divorce in New York, they need information about your arrangements for property division, child custody, and spousal support payments. If your mediation was successful, the judge will examine your mediated settlement agreement. Upon review of this document, they may make minor changes if something doesn't align with the law. Otherwise, they will most likely accept it as drafted.

If you and your spouse have agreed on all matters, you’ll probably be able to avoid going to court, unless the judge has questions or concerns about your agreement. At the hearing, the judge will ask you and your spouse if you have agreed to what's in the marital settlement agreement. If you were unable to reach a final agreement on all or even some terms, the judge will resolve those for you and tell you the outcome at this hearing.

At the end of the hearing, the judge will sign a divorce decree, officially and legally ending your marriage.

Common factors that lengthen or shorten the divorce process

If you’re wondering how long it takes to get a divorce in New York, you should understand the issues that might lengthen or shorten a standard time frame.

Those common factors include the following:

  •   Collaboration: If you can work with your spouse and make fair arrangements regarding your assets, debts, and children, the divorce will move faster than it might if you must argue your case in front of a judge in court.
  •   Court schedules: If you require a final hearing or court case, you must wait for an available time. In some counties, courts are very busy, and the wait times can be long.
  •   Complexity: Some people have divorce cases that are complicated by difficult estates, children, or small business ownership. The more difficult your issues, the longer the case might take.

Free download: The Ultimate Guide to Divorce Mediation

Watch: How Long Will My Divorce Take?


FAQ about New York divorce

What if my divorce is taking a long time?

Many people worry that their divorce is taking too long. If this is true for you, there are a few things you can do, including speaking with a divorce attorney about your options, reaching out to court officials for more information, and exploring alternative dispute resolution options like mediation.

A primary reason why divorce often takes longer than expected is also a simple one: The many legal issues involved in ending a marriage take time to resolve. These issues may include child custody, child support, property division, and spousal support, all of which can lengthen the divorce process.

How long will my New York divorce take?

Getting divorced in New York can take anywhere from several months to several years. Your timeline hinges on the circumstances of your divorce case, including how complex it is and how amicable the two of you are during divorce proceedings.

One thing you can do to help speed up the process is be as cooperative and communicative as possible throughout the divorce process. This means responding promptly to any requests from your lawyer or the court, being honest and transparent about all aspects of your marriage, and working with your spouse whenever possible.

It's also important to be patient during this stressful time. Even if your case seems relatively straightforward, unexpected delays or complications may arise along the way.

We are here to remind you that you are not alone. There are resources available to guide you through this difficult process and support you in moving forward with your life after divorce. At Hello Divorce, we are proud of the affordable online divorce plans and services we offer.


Residency and Grounds. (January 2022). New York State Unified Court System.
How Courts Work. (September 2019). American Bar Association.
Family and Divorce Mediation. New York State Unified Court System.


Divorce Content Specialist & Lawyer
Divorce Strategy, Divorce Process, Legal Insights

Bryan is a non-practicing lawyer, HR consultant, and legal content writer. With nearly 20 years of experience in the legal field, he has a deep understanding of family and employment laws. His goal is to provide readers with clear and accessible information about the law, and to help people succeed by providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the legal landscape. Bryan lives in Orlando, Florida.