What are the legal grounds for divorce in New York?
The breakdown of a marriage is never easy, but when divorce becomes your final solution, you will probably have a lot of questions about the process. Like other states, New York now allows residents to acquire a no-fault divorce, which means you can legally end a marriage if it has become irreparable. However, it is still important to know and understand the accepted grounds upon which you can divorce in this state.
Assuming that you are legal residents of New York, the following list contains all seven of the state’s current legal grounds for divorce.
- Irretrievable relationship breakdown: This is the only no-fault option and couples must prove that the marriage has been irreparable for at least six months.
- Abandonment: Filing spouses must show that they have lived without their marriage partners for at least one year. Constructive abandonment, which means your spouse refuses to have sexual relations with you, is included in this category.
- Cruel and inhuman treatment: Plaintiffs must show that they suffered specific acts of cruelty and that it is unsafe to remain in the marriage.
- Adultery: Those who can prove that their spouse cheated on them can use adultery as grounds for divorce.
- Spouse imprisonment: This is an effective option for couples that grew apart because one spouse was incarcerated for three years or longer.
- Legal separation: Couples that have filed for legal separation and lived separately for one year can divorce on this ground.
- A judgment of separation: Although rare, this is an option that some couples may want to explore, often for religious reasons.
Because some divorces can be quite complex, you may want to speak with a divorce lawyer. He or she can help you determine which of the state’s grounds best meets your specific marital situation.