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What are The Grounds for Divorce in New York

What are The Grounds for Divorce in New York

Divorce is a complex and emotionally challenging process, and understanding the legal grounds for divorce can be crucial for anyone navigating this journey in New York. Each state in the U.S. has its own set of rules and reasons that allow couples to legally dissolve their marriage. In New York, there are specific grounds upon which a divorce can be granted. Let’s delve into the details.

  1. No-Fault Grounds:

New York introduced a no-fault divorce option in 2010, allowing couples to dissolve their marriage without placing blame on either party. The primary no-fault ground for divorce in New York is:

– Irretrievable Breakdown: This simply means that the relationship between spouses has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months. If both parties agree that their marriage has been irretrievably broken for this duration, they can obtain a divorce based on this ground. It’s a straightforward and often less contentious approach compared to fault-based grounds.

  1. Fault-Based Grounds:

While the no-fault option offers a more amicable path, there are still traditional fault-based grounds available in New York. These grounds require proof of specific behaviors or conditions by one spouse. The fault-based grounds for divorce in New York include:

– Cruel and Inhuman Treatment: This refers to conduct by one spouse that endangers the physical or mental well-being of the other spouse, making it unsafe or improper for the couple to continue living together.

– Abandonment: If one spouse leaves the marital home for a continuous period of one year or more without the other spouse’s consent, it can be considered as a ground for divorce.

– Imprisonment: If a spouse has been imprisoned for three or more consecutive years after the marriage, it can serve as a basis for divorce.

– Adultery: Engaging in a sexual relationship outside of the marriage can be grounds for divorce. However, it’s essential to note that the aggrieved spouse must provide evidence to substantiate the claim.

– Conversion of a Judgment of Separation: If a couple has lived separately under a judgment of separation for at least one year, and one spouse has complied with the terms of the judgment, either spouse can seek a divorce.


Understanding What are The Grounds for Divorce in New York is vital for anyone contemplating or going through the process. While the introduction of no-fault grounds has simplified divorce proceedings to some extent, it’s essential to be aware of all available options and their implications. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can provide clarity and guidance tailored to individual circumstances.

Remember, divorce is not just a legal process but also an emotional journey. Being informed and prepared can help individuals navigate this challenging time with greater confidence and clarity. Whether opting for a no-fault or fault-based approach, the ultimate goal is to ensure a fair and equitable resolution for all parties involved.