Focused Guidance, Aggressive Family Law Advocacy

What are grounds for divorce in New York?

| Mar 10, 2021 | Divorce

Marriages come to an end for a variety of reasons in New York. Whatever a couple’s private reasons for divorce are, to validly divorce in the state they must provide one of the following legally acceptable reasons:

  1. Irretrievable differences: This is usually referred to as a no-fault divorce. The marriage should have been over for at least six months and all family law issues, such as custody and marital property settled.
  2. Divorce proceeding a legal separation agreement: Once the couple has filed a legal separation agreement and have lived apart for one year, they can avail this ground.
  3. Abandonment: If one spouse has abandoned the other for a period of at least one year, then the abandoned spouse can file for divorce under this ground. This can be physical abandonment, with the abandoning spouse having no intention of returning or constructive, with one spouse not engaging in marital relations with the other for a year.
  4. Cruel and inhuman treatment: To file for divorce under this ground, it is not enough to show that the couple did not get along. The judge looks for specific cruel acts, mental and physical, that took place in the last five years that make the house unsafe for the filing divorce to continue living in.
  5. Imprisonment: If a spouse has been put in prison after the couple got married and has been imprisoned for three years in a row, the filing spouse can use this as a ground for a divorce up to five years after the other person is released from prison.
  6. Adultery: Showing that one spouse committed adultery during the marriage is often difficult to do, as testimony from someone other than the plaintiff and the defendant is needed.
  7. Divorce after a separation judgment: This is not a common ground for divorce.

Deciding to end one’s marriage is a difficult decision. It also means that a lot of legalities need to be complicated before the divorce can be finalized. Having an experienced attorney by one’s side guiding New York residents through the process can be helpful in getting the bets outcome possible.