All U.S. states now offer couples the option to get a no-fault divorce instead of a fault-based split. For the uninitiated, no-fault in divorce law means you do not need to prove your spouse did anything wrong that ruined the marriage.
New York was the last state to offer no-fault divorce options. Before 2010, you needed to cite a reason to get divorced even when both spouses wanted to end their marriage.
What are the acceptable divorce grounds?
Although no-fault options are available, some still wish to pursue a fault-based divorce. Sometimes, those wronged in a marriage want to call out their spouse’s poor conduct in court, for example. Regardless of your reasons for wanting a fault divorce, the grounds currently accepted in New York include the following:
- Adultery or cheating that occurs during the marriage period
- Spousal imprisonment (after marriage) for at least three consecutive years
- Cruel and inhuman treatment so severe it threatens your physical or mental well-being
- Spousal abandonment—either leaving home permanently or withholding intimate relations—for at least one year
You may be in emotional pain or angry at your spouse for their conduct, but you should consider all your options, including a no-fault divorce. If your only reason for citing fault is to punish your spouse, remember that you must prove your grounds in court. That means providing evidence that supports your claims of marital wrongdoing.
Before you decide what type of divorce to file, learn as much as you can about New York’s complicated divorce laws. Taking this step prepares you for the process of ending your marriage as painlessly as possible.