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Grounds for Divorce in New York

Before an individual can file for divorce in New York, they must meet the residency requirement and have grounds, or legal reasons, of divorce. New York accepts seven legal reasons for getting a divorce. These reasons are known as the grounds for divorce.

The Grounds For Divorce

Grounds can be fault-based, meaning one spouse caused the marriage to fail, or no-fault, which means neither spouse did anything to cause the marriage to fail.

There is only one ground for a “no-fault” divorce:

  1. Irretrievable Breakdown in Relationship for at Least 6 Months: This ground can be used to get divorced if the marriage has been over for at least six months, and all matters relating to finances, property division, child custody, and child support have been settled.

The grounds of divorce for it to be considered “fault-based” include:

  1. Cruel and Inhuman Treatment: To use this ground, the court will look for specific acts of cruelty that occurred during the last five years of marriage. The cruelty must be so extreme that it makes the Plaintiff, or the spouse filing for divorce, physically or mentally in danger by living with the Defendant, or the other spouse.

  2. Abandonment: This ground may be used if the Defendant has abandoned the Plaintiff for at least one year or more.

  3. Imprisonment: In this ground, the Defendant must have been in prison for three or more years in a row, and they were put into prison after the marriage began. The Plaintiff can file for this ground while the spouse is in prison or up to five years after they were released from jail.

  4. Adultery: This ground may be used if the Plaintiff can prove using concrete evidence from someone besides themselves and their spouse that the Defendant committed adultery during the marriage.

  5. Divorce After a Legal Separation Agreement: To use this ground, the Plaintiff and the Defendant need to sign and file a valid separation agreement and live separately for one year.

  6. Divorce After a Judgment of Separation: To use this uncommon ground, the Supreme Court will draw up a judgment of separation, and the married couple must have lived separately for one year.

Need Help Filing For Divorce?

Filing for divorce is never easy. If procedures are not followed correctly, it’s more likely your divorce will end up costing you extra time and money. However, with the help of Pickney Law Firm, we can guide you through the process and make sure you are covered every step of the way. Let us protect your best interests during this difficult time.

To get started on the divorce process, Call Pickney Law Firm today at (516) 565-5555.