The State of New York became the last state in the country to adopt `No Fault Divorce`. This applies to divorce actions that were initiated on October 12, 2010 or later. In addition to the pre-existing fault-based grounds for divorce that are discussed below, a spouse may be granted a divorce if one of the partners in the marriage states under oath that the marriage has been “irretrievably broken” for six months or longer.

An amendment to the Domestic Relations Law states that a divorce will not be granted until all economic issues have been settled. This includes the distribution of property, spousal support, custody, visitation and legal fees.

Cruel and Inhumane Treatment

If the spouse can prove that the other partner has inflicted physical or mental abuse within the previous five years, this can be grounds for divorce if the spouse believes that continuing in the marriage constitutes a risk to safety.

Adultery as Grounds For Divorce

Adultery is not used often as grounds for divorce since there are usually less costly ways to prove grounds for a divorce. Adultery can be proved by circumstantial evidence showing that the cheating partner in the marriage had the means and the desire to commit adultery. If a spouse has sexual relations with a cheating partner after knowing the partner committed adultery, the courts will view this act as a sign that the adultery was forgiven or condoned. This means the adultery cannot be used as the grounds for divorce in such a case. If both people in a marriage commit adultery, the adultery cannot be used as grounds for a divorce.

Imprisonment Before Divorce

If a spouse has been imprisoned for three or more years before the beginning of divorce proceedings, this can be used as grounds for a divorce.

Getting a Divorce in New York

In most cases, divorce proceedings are started in the Supreme Court of the county where at least one of the parties to the marriage resides. For example, if both parties live in Westchester, the proceedings will begin the in the Westchester Supreme Court, while if the parties live in Nassau County, the divorce proceedings will begin in Nassau County Supreme Court.

An Experienced Divorce Attorney Should Be Consulted

Although it is possible to obtain a divorce without the help of a divorce attorney, this is not advised except in the simplest cases. When the divorce requires negotiations regarding children, assets, and ongoing financial support from the spouse, it is much better to have an experienced divorce lawyer to safeguard your rights. Anyone who is facing a divorce where children are involved must keep in mind that their rights are also affected by the outcome of the divorce.

Call Ira Bierman at 516-677-0444 to discuss your situation.

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