What You Need to Know About Fault Grounds in New York

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When you make the decision to get a divorce, a lot more decisions will follow. One of the first decisions you will have to make is whether to file fault grounds. Read on to learn more about fault grounds in New York.

Fault Grounds

When the process of a divorce begins, you will have to decide whether you want to file fault grounds or file for a no-fault divorce. Grounds refer to the legal reason your divorce is occurring. When a spouse cites fault grounds in a divorce, it means the other spouse participated in an action or activity that caused the end of their marriage. In the state of New York, there are several grounds to choose from when citing fault grounds. This can include:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Non-support
  • Impotence
  • Imprisonment of 5 or more years
  • Gross habits of intoxication
  • Cruel and abusive treatment

What is a no-fault 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 known as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.”

Contested vs Uncontested divorce

When couples go through a divorce, they are required to settle their marital issues. This can include matters of 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. The process of litigation takes place through the court and allows a judge to make decisions on the couple’s behalf. 

Spouses who can agree about these decisions can go through an uncontested divorce. 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 outside of the court, which is often quicker, less expensive, and more private.

If you have any questions or concerns about the divorce process in New York, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to speak with an experienced divorce attorney.


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.

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