In order to get divorced you must either agree with your spouse that your case will be a ‘no-fault’ divorce, or you must demonstrate grounds for divorce. You can also obtain a divorce in New York on the grounds that the parties have been living separate and apart pursuant to a written Separation Agreement for at least one year.
Even if you use other grounds for divorce, if you and your spouse are able to reach a written agreement on all the issues, the agreement (Separation Agreement or Stipulation of Settlement) will be included in the divorce papers that are filed with the court and incorporated into the divorce judgment. If you are able to reach an agreement with your spouse and set it down on paper in this way, it is much more likely that:
✓ The orders in the requested in the proposed judgment of divorce will be granted.
✓ You will not have to go to court to have a hearing on the issues of division of property, spousal or child support, or custody and visitation.
✓ Your spouse will be more willing to let the divorce go through without opposition or legal representation, since the terms of the divorce judgment are settled ahead of time.
✓ Your spouse will comply with the terms of the divorce after the judgment.