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Grounds For Divorce In New York

HomeDivorce New YorkGrounds For Divorce In New York

In the past, getting a divorce in New York was one of the costliest court proceedings in the state.

Fault-based divorces, where one of the spouses was at fault, like; abandoning the other spouse or engaging in adultery, could require months and even years to settle.

It was quite common to spend lots of cash to attain a divorce in New York.

The more spouses litigated fault, the more stressful, costlier, and uglier the divorce got.

In 2010, this changed as New York became the last state to support a no-fault divorce.

Filling a no-fault divorce can aid in saving lots of cash because no one needed to prove fault.

The inclusion of no-fault divorce in New York has aided in eradicating long trials to prove grounds for divorce.

If spouses file for a no-fault divorce, getting a divorce in New York is much easier and less expensive.

Attaining a Divorce in New York

New York is not entirely a no-fault state. So there are still grounds for divorce, even though many individuals now file for divorce under the less stressful no-fault law.

A No-fault divorce implies you don’t need to prove that the marriage is ending because of another spouse’s fault.

All that needs to be proven and written in your divorce paper is that the marriage has been beyond recovery for not less than six months. One spouse must state this under oath.

But, you will not be granted a divorce except all the problems of spousal support, custody, property sharing, visitation, and child support have been decided by the court or have been concluded by all parties involved.

Residency and Grounds

Before filing for a divorce in New York, you must:

  • Meet the requirement for residency
  • Have a ground for divorce—a legally acceptable reason.

Requirement for Residency

The following are a few methods of meeting the New York residency requirement.

They include:

  • You or your spouse must have been continuously residing in New York for not less than one year before the divorce case begins and;
  1. You got married in the state of New York.
  2. You lived in the state of New York as a married couple
  3. The grounds of your divorce occurred in the state of New York
  • You as well as your spouse are New York residents on the day the separation begins, and the grounds for your divorce took place in the State of New York

Grounds for a Divorce in New York

There are seven legally acceptable reasons or grounds for getting a divorce in New York.

They include:

Unfixable deformation in the relationship for at least six months

It is usually referred to as a no-fault divorce.

To utilize this, the marriage must be more than six months.

Also, all economic problems like the division of property, debt settlement alongside the support and custody of the kids have sorted.

Inhuman or Cruel Treatment

To utilize this ground, the Judge would be looking for precise acts of cruelty that occurred in the past five years.

The fact that you and your spouse had arguments is not adequate.

The cruelty must be at the level that the plaintiff is mentally or physically in danger, and it is not proper or safe for the Plaintiff to keep residing with the defendant.

Abandoning a spouse

To utilize this ground, the spouse needs to have abandoned the Plaintiff for no less than one year and above. Examples of abandonment include:

  • Where the spouse leaves home physically without any plan of heading back
  • Where the spouse rejects sexual intimacy with the other spouse, this is known as constructive abandonment

Divorce after a legally recognized separation agreement

To utilize this ground, Defendant and Plaintiff sign and file a legal separation agreement and stay apart for a year.

The separation agreement must have precise requirements in it to be legal.


To utilize this ground, the spouse must have been imprisoned for three years and above at a go.

The spouse must have placed into prison after the start of the marriage.

The spouse can utilize this ground while the spouse is in prison or as much as five years after the spouse’s release from prison.


To use this ground, Plaintiff must have evidence that proves that the spouse engaged in adultery during the marriage.

This ground can be challenging to prove because it requires evidence from someone asides from the spouse and plaintiff.

Divorce after a judgment of separation is a ground that is not often utilized.

To use this, the Supreme Court develops a judgment of separation, and the married spouse reside apart for at least one year.

Kinds of Divorces in New York and How to Get Them

There are various kinds of divorce in New York and multiple methods of getting them.

They include:

An uncontested divorce

A divorce where the couple has sorted all core issues, including custody and visitation, debt and property, spousal, and child support.

A contested divorce

It means there isn’t an agreement on core issues.

A judge must decide some or all problems after a trial. A contested divorce is the most painful and costliest kind of divorce and takes the lengthiest time to go through the court system.

You can fill both uncontested divorces and contested divorce as a no-fault divorce.

Also, divorces can sometimes proceed through court without the need to head into the court.

These are generally uncontested divorces. However, in contested divorces, the case will most likely make it to trial.


It is an additional alternative in New York. A mediator has training in matrimonial law and aids spouses in making their own decision.

Any agreement spouses make with the mediator during a session can be added to the Judgement of Divorce by a court in New York.

Divorce in New York can be complicated, but we can help. Could you give us your case details?.


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