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What are the grounds for divorce in New York?

Couples seeking a divorce in New York may be interested to know that the law lists seven particular grounds that may result in divorce. They are: cruel and inhuman treatment, imprisonment, abandonment, adultery, living separately due to a court decree, living separately due to a separation agreement and "no-fault divorce."

Cruel and inhuman treatment is defined as endangerment of the spouse seeking a divorce, supported by specific acts of physical or mental cruelty. Imprisonment is defined as one party being imprisoned for three or more years. Abandonment is defined as one party leaving the other party for more than a year without intention to return, without consent and without good reason.

Adultery is defined as one party engaging in sexual relations with a person other than the spouse over the course of the marriage. Living separately is defined as spouses living apart for at least one year as the result of a Supreme Court decree or a notarized separation agreement detailing the conditions under which the spouses will live apart. Finally, no-fault divorce is defined as "irretrievable breakdown of relationship" for at least six months. This type of divorce requires a divorce agreement to resolve all shared assets, alimony, child support and other issues, either agreed on by both parties or instituted by a family court.

A lawyer may be very helpful when it comes to determining whether or not an individual has grounds to divorce his or her spouse in New York. No-fault divorce is a common way to implement a divorce when no other grounds apply, but it may require significant effort to figure out how to split assets. A lawyer may help to mediate between parties if the divorce is amicable or advocate for one spouse if it is a contentious split. No information in this article should be construed as specific legal advice.


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