What Do I Need to Know About Grounds for Divorce in New York?

People get a divorce from their spouses for a variety of reasons. This can vary depending on the couple, which is why not all divorces are the same. When the proceedings begin, spouses are required to inform the court of the reason why they want a divorce. This is known as citing “grounds” for divorce. Once grounds are cited, the proceedings can continue. Individuals facing these situations should retain the services of an experienced New York divorce attorney for assistance.

Grounds for Divorce

It is a common misconception that when a divorce happens, it is always due to at least one spouse’s “fault.” However, spouses can cite either fault or no-fault grounds at the start of a divorce. When no-fault grounds are cited, it means neither spouse wants to hold the other responsible for the end of their relationship. This happens when the marriage has broken down over a period of at least six months and the spouses can no longer fix it. This is also sometimes known as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.”

On the other hand, spouses who cite fault grounds do want to hold their spouse responsible for the divorce. Actions that constitute fault grounds in New York can include:

  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Abandonment
  • Imprisonment
  • Adultery

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

When couples go through a divorce, they are required to settle their marital issues. This can include child custody, child support, alimony, the division of assets, and more. When two spouses cannot agree regarding these matters, it is known as a contested divorce. This is common in cases where fault grounds are cited, as these spouses tend to disagree about their situation. When this happens, the couple may need to go through litigation, allowing a judge to decide for them.

Spouses who can agree about these decisions can go through an uncontested divorce. This is seen when spouses are better able to communicate with one another, which is possible in no-fault grounds situations. In these cases, spouses may be able to participate in alternative divorce methods instead of litigation. This can include mediation, arbitration, or a collaborative divorce. These processes let spouses discuss their case productively in a way that allows them to reach agreements. 

Contact our Firm

Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. Our firm understands the impact a divorce can have on your life. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, please do not hesitate to contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.