Grounds for Divorce New York

NY Grounds for Divorce

Divorce is a complex process that can be incredibly complicated and emotionally draining. Every state has laws regarding the grounds for divorce, and New York is no exception. In New York, specific rules must be followed to obtain a divorce, including which feet are considered acceptable to file under. This article explores the various settings for divorce in New York and provides an overview of what can be expected when filing for divorce in this state.

Grounds for Divorce

Understanding the grounds for divorce available to couples in New York is an integral part of the process. This article will explain the options available to couples seeking a divorce in New York.

To file for a divorce in New York, one of five grounds must be present:

  1. cruel treatment
  2. abandonment
  3. imprisonment
  4. adultery
  5. living apart under a separation judgment or decree, or living apart under a written separation agreement.

Cruel and Inhuman Treatment

When it comes to ending a marriage, New York state law allows couples to obtain a divorce on the grounds of cruel treatment. This is defined as any physical, mental, or verbal behavior that has caused fear in one partner and creates an unbearable living situation. Both partners must be willing to provide evidence of such mistreatment for the divorce to be granted.

In New York, cruel treatment is seen as physical abuse, including but not limited to punching, hitting, shoving, kicking, or otherwise causing harm. Mental cruelty can consist of verbal threats or insults designed to cause emotional distress or even humiliation in one’s spouse. Furthermore, if a partner exhibits controlling behavior, such as isolating their spouse from friends and family members or monitoring their location without permission, this could also be considered cruel treatment.


Abandonment is an issue that can be grounds for divorce in New York. Under Article 13, Section 170 of the Domestic Relations Law, abandonment is defined as “the willful desertion or separation from one’s spouse with the intent to abandon.” In other words, it’s an activity involving one spouse leaving without their partner’s consent or intention of returning.

When a person files for divorce on the grounds of abandonment in New York, they must provide proof that their spouse has abandoned them. This could include evidence such as financial statements showing a lack of support or communication records demonstrating a lack of contact between the couple. Additionally, it’s important to note that if a couple attempts to reconcile after being separated due to abandonment, then these attempts may not be considered when a court makes its ruling on this matter.


Adultery is a common ground for divorce in the state of New York. It’s one of the few “fault-based” grounds allowing a spouse to file for divorce without proving incompatibility or separation. Adultery means that one spouse had sexual relations with another person while still married, which can be used as evidence in court when seeking a fault-based divorce.

Under New York law, adultery is grounds for an at-fault divorce if it can be proved that the defendant committed adultery with someone else during the marriage. To do so, the evidence must be presented before a judge who will determine whether or not adultery was committed and whether it should lead to an at-fault divorce being granted.


The imprisonment of a spouse in New York is one of the grounds for divorce under the state’s law. This can be especially difficult to handle when two individuals have been married for years, and one finds themself in prison due to criminal activity. In such cases, those seeking a divorce must know all the details involved in this complex process.

Under New York’s family law statutes, any person imprisoned for three consecutive years is considered as having abandoned their partner and therefore constitutes a legitimate ground for divorce. However, questions arise about what should happen if the incarcerated partner wishes to reconcile after being released. The answer lies in the discretion of each court, which will evaluate each case according to its particular set of circumstances and make a judgment accordingly.

Separation Agreement

A separation agreement is a document that formalizes the terms of an amicable divorce. In New York, couples can choose from different grounds for divorce when deciding how to proceed with their separation. It is important for divorcing couples to understand these grounds for divorce and the implications of each before signing a separation agreement.

In New York, there are seven recognized grounds for divorce: Cruel treatment, abandonment (for one or more years), imprisonment (for three or more years), adultery, living separate and apart under a decree or judgment, living separate and apart under a written agreement of separation, and irretrievable breakdown in the relationship.

Residency Requirements

New York Grounds for Divorce contain residency requirements that must be met to proceed with a divorce. Generally, one of the parties involved must have been living in New York as a resident for at least two years before filing the divorce petition. This is known as ‘domicile,’ meaning that it must be where the party has their true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment. It should be noted that there are exceptions to this rule if both parties agree to waive this requirement or if there is another valid ground for divorce under the law.

If the divorcing couple meets only one of these residence requirements, they may file a “no-fault” dissolution of marriage in New York State.

Filing Procedures

In New York State, seven grounds may be used to obtain a divorce, including abandonment, adultery, cruelty, and imprisonment. Depending on the grounds chosen by either spouse, different steps must be taken when filing for divorce in New York State.

For example, if a spouse claims abandonment as the ground for divorce, they must prove that their spouse has been absent from the marriage without cause or justification for at least one year before filing the petition. Suppose a spouse claims adultery as the ground. In that case, they must show proof of an extramarital affair with another person outside of their marriage before filing their petition with the court.

Financial Considerations

The cost of divorce in New York can be a complicated process to face. Depending on the complexity of the divorce and financial situation, couples may have to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees. With so much at stake, it’s essential to understand the potential costs involved in obtaining a divorce in New York.

It is possible for divorcing couples in New York to file a simplified, uncontested divorce that can help reduce the cost significantly. This type of filing is usually quicker and less expensive than filing for an uncontested or contested divorce, which means more money is saved for both parties involved. Uncontested divorces are typically completed within one month from start to finish when all paperwork has been filed correctly and both parties agree on all terms without any disputes.

When filing a contested divorce in New York, there are fees associated with the process that may include divorce attorney costs, court fees, and other miscellaneous expenses. The average price of a contested divorce in New York ranges from $10-20,000, depending on how complex the case is and how long it takes for both parties to reach an agreement.


The grounds for divorce in New York are numerous and varied. Unfortunately, these grounds can also exploit the legal system if one partner seeks a more favorable outcome than the other. It is essential for both parties involved to be aware of their rights and obligations throughout the process, as well as the consequences of using any of the available grounds for divorce in New York.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.