During a consultation a spouse will often ask me about grounds for divorce
in New York.
There are seven grounds for divorce. Irretrievable breakdown was added
in 2010 as a legal reason – making it possible for many more people
to divorce. Before that people had to make their grounds conform to a standard that
did not always fit. The grounds were very specific, such as abandonment
or cruel and inhuman treatment.
Today, couples who do not have specific grounds for divorce, such as cruel
and inhuman treatment, abandonment or adultery, can cite irretrievable
People can go their separate ways without wrongfully accusing the other
spouse with something they didn’t do.
In New York, divorces are handled in the Supreme Court in the county where
you live. Family court does not handle divorces but can order child support
The 7 grounds for divorce in New Your include the following:
1. Irretrievable breakdown: The relationship between the spouses has been
irretrievably broken for at least six months.
2. Cruel and inhuman treatment: This refers to treatment that places your
physical or mental health in danger if you continue to live with one another.
3. Abandonment: This means that your spouse has either left you for at
least a year or has refused to have sex with you for a year.
4. Imprisonment: If your spouse is sent to jail for three or more years.
5. Adultery: Your spouse commits adultery. This is a tricky one though.
You cannot divorce for this reason if you encouraged your spouse to commit
adultery, if you forgive your spouse for cheating by having sexual relations
with them after you discovered the adultery or if you committed adultery
yourself. You also cannot use this as a ground for divorce if it has been
more than five years since you discovered the adultery.
6. Judgment of Separation: If you have an official “Judgment of Separation”
or “Decree of Separation” for at least one year this can be
considered grounds, however it is rarely used. Most people avoid this
step and go directly to divorce.
7. Separation Agreement: When you and your spouse have not lived together
for at least one year according to a written “Agreement of Separation,”
however, you must have adhered to the terms of the separation.
These days irretrievable breakdown (or no-fault divorce) is probably the
most common ground for divorce chosen by couples.
Divorce is a complex process. If you are thinking about divorce—maybe
you have been served with a summons—call me.
My partner and I will walk you through the process, assess your situation
and answer all your questions. We have over 35 years’ experience
and will provide you with the highest level of legal strategy and support.
Call today so we can discuss the right path for you. Our consultations
are free, informative and comprehensive.
During the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic all our
FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are
conveniently conducted virtually by telephone or TeleDivorce by Zoom or Skype to reduce
risk and maintain safety for everyone!
We still have some appointments available for this week.
I look forward to helping you.
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When it comes to your future and that of your family, don’t leave
anything to chance. Call New York Divorce Lawyer Lois M. Brenner, Esq.
to schedule your free consultation. 212.734.1551.
There is no case too difficult or complex for Lois Brenner and her legal
team to handle!!