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How New York’s Residency Requirements Affect Same-Sex Divorce Cases

On July 24, 2011, same-sex marriage became legal in New York. Since then, gay couples living in non-recognized states have been traveling to New York to obtain a legal marriage license. Unfortunately for these couples, the headaches associated with planning a wedding out of state is the easy part. If the couple returns home and their relationship eventually falls apart, getting a divorce might be their biggest battle. 

The issues surrounding same-sex divorce

f your home state doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, it won’t recognize your need for a divorce, either. This means your divorce will not be granted in your home state, leaving you in limbo. The only way to successfully secure a divorce is to go back to the state in which you were married, but the residency requirements involved might make this impossible. If you traveled to New York for your marriage, you will need to meet one of the following requirements to get a divorce:

  • You or your spouse must have been living in New York for at least two years before filing for divorce.
  • You or your spouse must have been a legal resident of New York for at least a year before filing for divorce.
  • You or your spouse must have been living in New York for at least a year before the divorce process started, and the grounds for your divorce had to have occurred in the state.
  • The grounds for the divorce occurred in New York, and both parties live in the state at the time of the filing.

These issues are currently very fluid, with new additions and tweaks to the laws happening all the time. If you are having an issue with your out-of-state divorce, the same-sex divorce lawyers at Sager Gellerman Eisner Attorneys at Law in Queens are ready to give you guidance and advice on your case.

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