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Do I Have Grounds for Divorce in New York State?

Learn About New York's "Fault" and "No-Fault" Divorce Laws

If you are considering filing for divorce, you must be aware of the many legal repercussions that divorce can have on the entire family. Because choosing to get a divorce can be one of the most important decisions you can make for yourself and your entire family, it is imperative that you understand the laws, your rights, and your legal options before starting any type of divorce action.

Two requirements must be met before you can file for divorce on Long Island, New York:

  • You must fulfill the state's residency requirements.
  • You must satisfy one of the grounds for divorce.

After you have determined that you are eligible to file for divorce in the state of New York, speak with a skilled Long Island divorce lawyer at our firm. The Virdone Law Firm, P.C. has helped many individuals, separating couples, and families in the New York area, and we know how to protect your rights and interests at this time.

Receive your free case evaluation from our Nassau County divorce lawyer today!
Call us at (516) 858-2648.

Understanding the State's Residency Requirements

In order to file for divorce, legal separation, annulment, or a declaration of nullity for a void marriage, the state of New York requires that divorcing couples must first fulfill the residency requirements. One of the parties must have been continuously living in New York for a year by the time the action was filed with the court.

In addition to the requirement that one of the parties was continuously living in the state for a year, at least one of the following conditions must be met:

  • The couple was married in New York
  • The couple has resided in New York as husband and wife
  • The cause for the legal action occurred in New York
  • The cause for the legal action occurred in New York and both parties were residents when the action was filed
  • At least one of the parties has been a New York resident for a continuous period of at least two years by the time the action was filed

Fault-Based Divorce Grounds Under New York Law

In addition to the state's residency requirements, separating couples must also have legally acceptable grounds for divorce. New York recognizes both fault and no-fault divorce grounds. Fault-based divorce grounds require proof of wrongdoing on the part of one of the spouses.

According to Domestic Relations Law Section 170, the fault-based grounds for divorce include:

  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Abandonment of the plaintiff
  • Imprisonment of the defendant
  • Adultery

Non-Fault-Based Divorce Grounds

Not all divorce grounds require a showing of misconduct or wrongful act as a cause for granting a divorce. Rather, a court will grant a divorce in situations where the couple already obtained a court order or written agreement for legal separation. As an alternative to fault-based divorce, one can convert their legal separation into a divorce.

Section 170 lists the following no-fault based grounds for divorce:

  • Living separate and apart according to the terms of a separation decree or judgment
  • Living separate and apart under the terms of a separation agreement
  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage

In 2010, New York recognized a distinctly no-fault divorce ground based on the irretrievable breakdown of marriage. In order to file for no-fault divorce, you must swear under oath that you and your spouse are unable to reconcile your marriage. The courts may require proof that your marriage has been in an irreparable state of breakdown for a period of at least six months.

Contact Our Nassau County Divorce Firm for a Free Consultation

If you do not think you fulfill the state's grounds for divorce, have questions about your particular circumstances, or simply have a concern that requires immediate attention, our firm is ready to listen to your story. We practice family law and we strongly believe in providing focused, personalized, and compassionate attention to our clients. No divorce will be exactly the same, and we are focused on finding customized solutions to each client's unique situation. As creative, critical thinkers with a solid legal foundation, we have the tools that are needed to help you at this difficult time.

Call The Virdone Law Firm, P.C. today to schedule your free case consultation to learn more about your divorce options or legal alternatives!