A couple may decide that it’s in their best interest to divorce, for a number of different reasons. Whatever the reason, in order to file for divorce in New York the divorcing spouses should have a legally acceptable reason. In New York there are seven grounds of New York that are commonly recognized:
Irretrievable breakdown in a relationship for a period of at least six months. This is commonly referred to as a no-fault divorce. If a couple seeks to use this as a ground for their divorce the marriage must be over for at least a period of six months.
Cruel and inhumane treatment. In order for this ground to be applicable, a judge will likely look for specific acts of cruelty and inhumane treatment at occurred over the last five years of the marriage. Arguments or disagreements are not enough to utilize this ground for divorce.
Abandonment. If a spouse is abandoned by the other spouse for at least one year, this may be used as a ground for divorce.
Imprisonment. If a spouse is in prison for three years or more, the other spouse may be able to use this as a ground for divorce. However, the spouse must have begun his or her prison sentence during the marriage.
Adultery. If a spouse has an affair during the marriage, this can be used as a ground for the divorce. However, the plaintiff usually has to prove that the affair happened.
Divorce after a legal separation. Divorcing spouses who want to use this as a ground for divorce usually have a valid separation agreement and have lived apart for at least one year.
Divorce after a judgment of separation. This ground for divorce is not used as commonly as the others referenced, but it includes the Court creating a judgment of separation and the married coupling living apart for one year.
If you need help with your divorce, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and what you may be entitled to in the divorce.
Leslye M. Schlesinger serves Rockland and Westchester County with compassion and integrity. With over 30 years of experience guiding clients through matrimony law, she now focuses on helping clients avoid litigation through alternative dispute resolution, including collaborative divorce and mediation. If you need an effective and committed attorney, contact Leslye M. Schlesinger for a consultation.