Unlike other parts of the nation, in which strictly “no fault” divorces exist, New York State law also provides seven grounds for divorce. These can be found in the Domestic Relations Law, Section 170. If grounds are not proven, the court will deny the divorce and the marriage will remain intact. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, contact an experienced New York divorce attorney today to ensure your rights

Grounds for Divorce

Divorce is a legal action that dissolves, or ends, a marriage. In legal terms, “grounds” are reasons that are legally acceptable in order to grant a divorce. New York law has a “no-fault” divorce, known as irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, as well as fault-based divorce grounds.

  1. Cruel and inhumane treatment – this occurs when the physical or mental well-being of one spouse is in jeopardy if the couple continues to live together and a divorce will be granted if proven even if a party contests this ground unless the abusive treatment occurred more than five years prior.
  2. Abandonment – a spouse must have left with no intention of returning, or ejected the other spouse with no intention of allowing a return, for a minimum of one year.
  3. Imprisonment – this ground can grant a divorce if a spouse is incarcerated for three or more years, but not released more than five years prior to seeking the divorce.
  4. Adultery – adultery is sufficient grounds for granting a divorce, unless the spouse seeking the divorce does any one of the following: forgives the adulterous act by having sexual relations with the spouse after discovering the infidelity, encourages adultery, or commits adultery. The adulterous act must have occurred less than five years prior to filing for divorce and a witness is required to testify against the accused.
  5. Judgment separation – issued by the court, this order states a couple has not lived together for at least one year and requires a similar proof as that of a divorce.
  6. Separation agreement – both spouses agree, in writing and sign in front of a notary, to live separated for at least one year and must obey all conditions in the agreement.
  7. Irretrievable breakdown – an irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship between spouses must have occurred for at least six months, however, a divorce will not be granted until property, visitation, custody, spousal support and child support have been decided or settled first.

Call a New York Divorce Attorney

If you or someone you know is facing divorce, contact an experienced New York City divorce attorney today learn about your best option when it comes to the law. Divorce can be stressful and complicated. With years of family law experience, the attorneys at the offices of Alatsas Law Firm have guided clients during this difficult, yet important, time. Schedule an initial consultant by calling (718)-233-2903 today.

Ted Alatsas
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Trusted Brooklyn, New York Family Law Attorney helping NY residents with Elder Law and Asset Protection
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