Grounds for Divorce in Brooklyn, New York
Although New York has recognized “no-fault” divorce since 2010, there are also a number of fault-based grounds for divorce, or valid reasons for ending a marriage. If you are considering a divorce, an experienced attorney can help you understand the grounds for divorce and also protect your rights.
The Law Office of Elliot Green represents clients in all aspects of divorce in the greater New York City area. We have extensive experience in both contested and uncontested divorce cases and have a proven track record of achieving favorable outcomes for our clients. Knowing that going through a divorce is a difficult experience, we offer each client knowledge, compassion and a superior level of personal service.
What is a No-Fault divorce?
In New York, a no-fault divorce may be granted if there has been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” for a period of at least 6 months prior to the divorce filing. In many other states, this is often referred to as “irreconcilable differences.” In short, this means that the spouses no longer wish to be married and are unlikely to reconcile the marriage.
Before the court grants a judgment of divorce in a no-fault case, however, the parties must agree that all of the issues in the divorce have been resolved, including the division of property, the payment or waiver of spousal support, child custody and parenting time, child support, and the payment of attorney’s fees and other costs. The spouses can either enter into a court-approved settlement agreement or the court will issue an order.
Fault Grounds for Divorce in New York
A spouse can also seek a fault-based divorce by claiming the following grounds:
- Cruel and Inhumane Treatment – This includes physical, verbal or emotional abuse that endangers the physical or mental well being of the abused spouse and makes it unsafe or improper for the couple to continue living together. This requires demonstrating specific instances of cruelty that have occurred within the last five years.
- Abandonment – A spouse must have abandoned the other for a period of at least one year. This includes a physical move from the home or a spouse being locked out of the home for that time period. Additionally, “constructive abandonment” – a spouse’s refusal to engage in sexual relations with the other spouse for at least one year, is also considered abandonment.
- Imprisonment – It is possible to divorce a spouse who has been in prison for three or more consecutive years, provided that the sentence began after the marriage. In this situation, a divorce can be filed while the spouse is in prison or up to five years after he or she has been released.
- Adultery – It is necessary to show that a spouse committed adultery during the marriage which requires providing evidence from a third party other than the unfaithful spouse, such as a private investigator.
In short, a spouse asks who seeks a divorce based on any of the fault grounds must be able to prove that the other spouse actually committed the misconduct. Moreover, fault-based divorces often become protracted legal battles that can be a financial and emotional burden for the family, particularly when minor children are caught between divorcing parents. For this reason, it is important to weigh your options carefully and consider whether filing for a no-fault divorce will be more beneficial.
A married couple may also seek a divorce if they have been legally separated. Before filing for or divorce, the couple must either have filed a valid separation agreement or one spouse must have obtained a court-ordered judicial separation. Additionally, before a divorce is granted, the couple must have lived part for a period of one year after the separation agreement is in place or the court order has been issued. The spouse seeking the divorce must also show that he or she has fulfilled all of the terms and conditions of the separation agreement. Because a separation agreement must be approved by the court, it is crucial to have a capable divorce attorney prepare the agreement.
Why You Should Call the Law Office of Elliot Green
Whether you are seeking a no-fault divorce or believe you have grounds for a fault-based divorce, ending a marriage is a complicated legal process. In a no-fault divorce, you must be able to negotiate all the terms of the divorce and the court must approve any settlement agreement. A fault-based divorce requires navigating the legal system, and there are numerous documents to be filed and deadlines that must be met. In either case, it is essential to engage the services of a trustworthy divorce attorney.
At the Law Office of Elliot Green, we have extensive experience handling no-fault and fault-based divorce cases. Our guiding principle is to put the best interest of our clients first by guiding them through the divorce process so that they can move on with their lives. If you are considering a divorce, call our office today to set up consultation or complete the contact form on our website.