It is important for all couples entering New York State for the purposes of getting married to understand that, should things go poorly – as is the case with 50% of marriages today – New York State does have a residency requirement for obtaining a divorce. This may be particularly tricky for couples in a same-sex marriage who are residents of a state that does not recognize their marriage and may not grant them a divorce.
New York residency requirements for divorce basically ask: "How are you related to New York State?" New York State only wants to be involved in your divorce if you have a "relationship" to the State where:
1. You and your spouse were married in New York State, and one of you resides in the State when the divorce action begins, and that person has lived in New York continuously for one year before the divorce action begins.
2. You and your spouse lived in New York State as Husband and Wife at any time during your marriage, and one of you currently resides in the State of New York and that person has lived in New York continuously for one year before the divorce action begins.
3. Either you or your spouse has been a resident of New York State for a continuous period of two years prior to the start of the action for divorce. (For example, if one spouse has resided continuously in another state or country, the spouse who has resided in New York for two years can seek the divorce in New York Courts.)
At a minimum, this means to obtain a New York divorce, one spouse may need to be a resident for at least a year prior to initiating a divorce.