What are the “grounds” for divorce in New York?

Our team of expert attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn can guide you through your divorce process. 

Residency Requirements For Divorce

In order to file for a divorce in New York under any grounds, the proper residency requirements must be met. At a minimum, one spouse should have been a New York resident for no less than a year prior to beginning the divorce process. However, if your marriage took place in New York and at least one spouse remains a resident, you are eligible to file for divorce, even if both of you reside outside the state currently. Grasping these residency prerequisites is essential when planning your divorce in New York. 

Fault-Based Grounds For Divorce in New York 

In New York, there are five fault-based grounds for divorce:

    • Cruel and inhuman treatment: Refers to actions by one spouse that endanger the physical or mental well-being of the other, making it unsafe or improper for the two to continue cohabiting
    • Adultery: ​​Involves one spouse engaging in a sexual relationship outside the marriage. Proving adultery can be challenging as New York courts require clear and convincing evidence, which often necessitates more than just the testimony of the accusing spouse. 
    • Irretrievable breakdown in a marriage for more than 6 months: One spouse needs to swear under oath that the relationship has been irreparably broken for at least six months. There’s no need to provide evidence of any wrongdoing by either party. 
    • Abandonment for one or more years: One spouse leaves the marital home without the other spouse’s consent, with the intention not to return.
    • Imprisonment for three or more years: If a spouse is imprisoned after the marriage for three or more consecutive years, the other spouse has grounds to file for divorce. 

No-Fault Grounds For Divorce in New York

Separate from the fault-based reasons, New York introduced the no-fault divorce in 2010. Here, neither party is legally required to prove that the other spouse committed any wrongdoing. The primary requirement is an affirmation that the relationship has suffered an “irretrievable breakdown” for at least six months. 

Why Knowing Your Grounds is Important

The ground upon which you base your divorce can influence the process’s duration, cost, and emotional toll. Certain grounds, like adultery, can be particularly challenging and invasive to prove, demanding substantial evidence. Others, like the irretrievable breakdown, are more straightforward but might necessitate extensive negotiations on property and custody.

Having a clear understanding of each ground, its requirements, and implications can help you select the most suitable one for your situation, potentially saving time, money, and emotional energy. Contact Brian D. Perskin & Associates today at 1-800 DIVORCE for top-tier representation in your Brooklyn or Manhattan divorce. 

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