Divorce (or the dissolution of marriage) is the termination of marital relations. People sometimes confuse divorce with annulment. Annulment is the decision that the marriage is null and void. Divorce is also not the same as legal separation which is a legal process when a married couple may formalize a de facto separation while remaining legally married. Divorce is also not a de facto separation when the spouses informally stop cohabitation.

The seven legally acceptable reasons, or grounds for divorce, in New York are irretrievable breakdown in relationship for a period at least six months (commonly known as “no-fault divorce”); cruel and inhuman treatment; abandonment; imprisonment; adultery; living separate and apart pursuant to a separation judgment or decree; living separate and apart pursuant to a separation agreement.

Divorce laws require the judge’s decree for parties to be divorced. The judge will resolve the issues of alimony (spousal support), child custody, child visitation, child support, property distribution, and division of debt.

Divorce is a stressful experience both for spouses and it can deeply affect children.

Divorce decree is the final judgment in a divorce proceeding. A party that does not agree with the divorce decree may on valid ground appeal it, submit a motion for rehearing or motion for relief from judgment. Each of these procedures has its own deadlines. It is important not to miss the deadline.