The New York Law Blog: Grounds for Divorce in New York: New York Divorce Basics
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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Grounds for Divorce in New York: New York Divorce Basics

Divorce Court New York, NY Divorce Court
New York County Family Court
In New York, a divorce  may be granted by a New York Family Court based on a mutual agreement of separation,  an order of separation by a New York court, for "Fault" attributable to the other spouse or for No-Fault Grounds. A New York court may not grant a divorce in New York based on any other grounds, but the aforementioned New York grounds for divorce.  Getting a divorce in New York does not need to be stressful or time consuming. Often the most important issue in handling a divorce is hiring a New York street-smart attorney.

We handle many international divorce matters in New York. Often our clients are foreign nationals married to New York residents or vice versa.  These matters require, not only a New York attorney, but an attorney that understands international divorce requirements.

No Fault Grounds for Divorce in New York
A no-fault divorce may be obtained in a New York court if one of the spouses notes, under oath, that the marriage has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months. A New York Family Court will grant a no-fault divorce in New York only if all divorce-related matters such as child custody, child support, division of assets and spousal support are resolved prior to the judgment of divorce.  If these matters are not resolved, the filing party should consider other New York grounds for divorce.

Fault Grounds for Divorce in New York
The following divorce grounds are the, only, fault grounds recognized by New York courts.
  1. Cruel and Inhuman Treatment;
  2. Abandonment for Over One Year;
  3. Imprisonment for at least Three Years after marriage; and
  4. Adultery
For all Fault Divorces, in New York, the burden is on the party filing for the NY divorce to prove fault on the part of the other New York spouse. A fault-based divorce in a New York court, normally, takes a substantially longer period of time to conclude than a divorce, in New York, based on the mutual consent of the parties. However, in many cases concerning substantial family assets and children, a New York fault-based divorce may be the only decent option in resolving the matter.

New York Divorce based on Separation
A New York couple may, also, seek a divorce in New York if the couple has separated.  The filing spouse, to qualify, must show that the couple lived apart pursuant to a NY court-ordered judgment of separation or a mutually agreed marital separation agreement and the filing party have complied with all terms and conditions of the New York court separation order or met all the obligation of the marital separation agreement.

For more information on New York divorce, please contact one of our lawyers below.  
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*Sean Hayes may be contacted at: SeanHayes@ipglegal.com.

Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team and Chair of International Practice Group at IPG Legal.  He is the first non-Korean attorney to have worked for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty.  Sean is ranked, for Korea, as one of only two non-Korean lawyers as a Top Attorney by AsiaLaw.  He has, also, received the highest rating by AVVO and other legal rating services.