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Reasons for Divorce in New York State

Divorce in New York | reasons for divorce in new york state

Divorce is a complex and emotional process that can be initiated for various reasons. In the state of New York, divorce laws recognize both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce. Understanding these reasons can provide insight into the intricacies of divorce proceedings in the state. Below, we will explore these reasons for divorce in detail.

  1. No-Fault Grounds for Divorce:
  2. Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage:

An irretrievable marriage breakdown is the most common reason for a no-fault divorce in New York. This means the marriage has broken down beyond repair, and both parties have been living apart for at least six months before filing for divorce. This reason acknowledges the reality that some marriages are beyond salvaging and allows for a more amicable dissolution process.

  1. Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce:
  • a. Cruel and Inhuman Treatment:
  • One spouse can seek a divorce on the grounds of cruel treatment. This involves demonstrating that the other spouse’s behavior has caused physical or emotional harm that makes it unsafe or intolerable to continue the marriage. This can encompass a range of behaviors, from physical abuse to emotional neglect.
  • b. Abandonment:
  • Abandonment occurs when one spouse leaves the other without consent, intending to end the marriage. This ground can be claimed if the abandonment has persisted for at least one year before filing for divorce.
  • c. Adultery:
  • Adultery is the act of one spouse engaging in sexual relations with someone other than their spouse. To prove adultery as a ground for divorce, the spouse filing for divorce must provide evidence of the extramarital affair.
  • d. Imprisonment:
  • If a spouse has been imprisoned for at least three consecutive years after the marriage, the other spouse can file for divorce based on this ground.
  • e. Separation Agreement:
  • A separation agreement is another fault-based ground for divorce in New York. If the spouses have signed a valid agreement to live separately and apart and abided by its terms for at least one year, this can serve as a reason for divorce.
  • f. Conversion of Judgment of Separation:
  • If a judgment of separation has been in place for at least one year, either spouse can convert it into a divorce judgment, effectively ending the marriage.
  • g. Judgment of Separation:
  • If the court has issued a judgment of separation and the spouses have lived separately according to it for at least one year, either spouse can use this as a ground for divorce.
  • h. Religious or Clerical Annulment:
  • If a religious or clerical annulment has been granted, either spouse can file for divorce based on this ground.

It’s important to note that the state of New York legally recognizes these grounds for divorce. However, the specific requirements and procedures for filing for divorce based on these grounds can vary. Consultation with legal professionals who’re efficient in New York family law is crucial to ensure accurate guidance and compliance with the legal process.

For personalized consultation, reach “The Law Offices of SRIS.P.C.,” and talk to our experienced Lawyers regarding your Divorce case.

In conclusion, the reasons for divorce in New York encompass both no-fault and fault-based grounds. The introduction of no-fault divorce has allowed couples to end their marriages more amicably, recognizing that not all relationships are salvageable. However, fault-based grounds remain relevant for cases involving serious misconduct or abandonment. Each reason for divorce carries its own legal implications, evidentiary requirements, and procedural steps, underscoring the importance of seeking legal advice tailored to individual circumstances.

Is it necessary to prove fault grounds in a divorce in New York? | reasons for divorce in new york state

In the state of New York, divorce laws provide individuals with the option to pursue either fault-based or no-fault divorces. While fault-based divorces require proving specific grounds such as cruelty, adultery, or imprisonment, no-fault divorces can be based on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, making it unnecessary to prove any particular wrongdoing. This distinction lets couples choose the possible approach to their circumstances and goals.

No-Fault Divorce: A Modern Approach

No-fault divorce is a relatively modern concept acknowledging that marriages can break down for various reasons, not necessarily due to one party’s misconduct. New York was one of the last states to adopt no-fault divorce laws, finally doing so in 2010. This innovation has simplified the divorce process by removing the need to establish fault grounds and allowing couples to end their marriages without placing blame.

In a no-fault divorce, a couple can cite the “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” as the reason for seeking a divorce. This approach recognizes that marriages can deteriorate over time due to a breakdown in communication, evolving priorities, or other factors that don’t necessarily involve misconduct. It acknowledges the reality that not all marriages end because of specific wrongdoings, enabling couples to part ways amicably and efficiently.

Benefits of No-Fault Divorce

Opting for a no-fault divorce in New York can offer several advantages:

Efficiency: No-fault divorces generally require less time and fewer legal complexities, allowing couples to move on with their lives more swiftly.

Reduced Conflict: By removing the need to prove fault, no-fault divorces often lead to less acrimonious legal battles, reducing emotional stress for both parties.

Privacy: No-fault divorces focus on the breakdown of the marriage rather than personal wrongdoings, preserving the privacy of both spouses.

Child Custody: In no-fault divorces, the focus shifts from assigning blame to addressing child custody and support arrangements, promoting a more child-centered approach.

Financial Savings: Avoiding the need to gather evidence for fault grounds can result in cost savings, as legal proceedings tend to be more straightforward.

When Fault Grounds Matter

While no-fault divorces have become the more popular choice due to their efficiency and reduced conflict, there are situations where fault grounds might still be relevant:

Financial Considerations: Sometimes, fault grounds can impact property division, alimony, and other financial matters.

Strategic Legal Planning: In contested divorces, proving fault grounds might strengthen one party’s negotiation position.

Emotional Closure: For some individuals, establishing fault can provide a sense of closure or validation for the end of the marriage.

Impact on Child Custody: In certain situations, such as cases involving child custody, proving fault grounds might influence the court’s decisions.

Ultimately, the choice between pursuing a fault-based or no-fault divorce in New York should be guided by the specific circumstances of the marriage and the preferences of the parties involved. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney can help individuals navigate this decision and ensure that their chosen approach aligns with their goals for the divorce process.

Consult The Law Offices of SRIS.P.C., today and talk to our experienced Divorce lawyers for your initial Consultation regarding your divorce case in New York.


What are the grounds for divorce in New York?

New York offers both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce.

What is a no-fault divorce?

A no-fault divorce in New York is based on an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” for a period of at least six months.

Can I get a fault-based divorce in New York?

New York recognizes several fault-based grounds, including cruelty, adultery, imprisonment, abandonment, and more.

What is “cruel and inhuman treatment” as a ground for divorce?

“Cruel and inhuman treatment” involves physical, emotional, or mental mistreatment that endangers your physical or mental well-being, making it unsafe or unreasonable to continue the marriage.

How can I prove adultery as grounds for divorce?

To prove adultery, you’ll need to provide evidence such as eyewitness accounts, photos, or other proofs showing your spouse engaged in a sexual relationship with someone else.

What is “abandonment” as a ground for divorce?

“Abandonment” is when your spouse has left you for a period of at least one year without your consent or justification.

Can I file for divorce based on the imprisonment of my spouse?

Yes, if your spouse has been imprisoned for at least three consecutive years after your marriage, you can use “imprisonment” as a ground for divorce.

What is a “legal separation agreement” as a ground for divorce?

If you and your spouse have a valid legal separation agreement and have lived separately and according to that agreement for at least one year, it can be grounds for divorce.

Is it necessary to prove fault grounds in a divorce?

You can also choose a no-fault ground for divorce based on an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage,” which doesn’t require proving any specific fault.

Can I use a combination of fault and no-fault grounds in my divorce?

Yes, depending on your situation, you can use a combination of fault and no-fault grounds in your divorce.

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