What are The Grounds for Divorce in New York


Divorce can be a challenging and emotionally taxing experience for anyone involved. Whether you’re considering filing for divorce or just curious about the legal process, understanding the grounds for divorce in your state is crucial. In New York, like in many other states, there are specific reasons, or “grounds,” upon which a divorce can be granted. Let’s delve into the What are The Grounds for Divorce in New York and what they entail.

1. No-Fault Divorce

New York was one of the last states to adopt a no-fault divorce law. Since 2010, couples in New York have had the option to file for a no-fault divorce, which means that neither spouse needs to prove that the other is at fault for the marriage breakdown. Instead, the only requirement is that the marriage has been irretrievably broken for at least six months, and there is no likelihood of reconciliation.

No-fault divorces can often streamline the process, as they eliminate the need for lengthy and often contentious litigation over who is to blame for the marriage ending. It allows couples to focus on resolving issues such as child custody, division of assets, and spousal support more amicably.

2. Fault-Based Grounds

While the option for a no-fault divorce exists, New York also recognizes several fault-based grounds for divorce. These include:


Adultery occurs when one spouse engages in a sexual relationship with someone other than their spouse. In New York, adultery is considered a fault-based ground for divorce. However, proving adultery can be challenging and typically requires substantial evidence.

Cruel and Inhuman Treatment

Cruel and inhuman treatment encompasses physical, verbal, or emotional abuse that endangers the physical or mental well-being of the other spouse. This ground provides an avenue for divorce for individuals who have suffered abuse or cruelty at the hands of their spouse.


Abandonment, also known as desertion, occurs when one spouse leaves the marital home without justification and without the consent of the other spouse. In New York, abandonment must persist for a continuous period of one year or more to qualify as grounds for divorce.


If a spouse has been incarcerated for three or more consecutive years after the marriage ceremony, it can serve as grounds for divorce in New York. However, the imprisonment must have begun after the marriage took place.

Legal Separation

Legal separation is another ground for divorce in New York. If spouses have lived apart pursuant to a valid separation agreement or decree of separation for at least one year, they may file for divorce based on this ground.


Navigating the What are Grounds for Divorce in New York State can be complex, but understanding the options available is essential for anyone contemplating the end of their marriage. Whether pursuing a no-fault divorce or citing fault-based grounds, seeking the guidance of a knowledgeable family law attorney can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.

Remember, divorce is not just a legal process but also an emotional one. It’s essential to prioritize self-care and seek support from friends, family, or a therapist if needed. While divorce can be challenging, it also marks the beginning of a new chapter in your life, and with the right support and guidance, you can navigate it successfully.