Grounds for Divorce

Grounds for Divorce in New York

When Can You File for Divorce in New York?

At the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC, our skilled lawyers understand the road that lies ahead and can provide the strong support you need to ensure your best interests are protected during this time of transition. With more than 75 years of collective legal experience and high praise from past clients for our unmatched professionalism, your case is sure to be in excellent hands. Our focus is always on compassion, communication, and effective legal counsel.

 Call (845) 605-4330or schedule a case review today to review your legal options.

Requirements for Divorce in New York

Divorcing couples in every state are required to satisfy certain requirements in order to have their marriage dissolved by the courts. Known as “grounds for divorce,” these requirements can vary from state to state and can be based on either reasons of marital misconduct or merely the breakdown of the marriage between a couple.

Prior to 2010, couples in New York could not pursue a divorce unless they had officially separated or there was proof that one spouse had engaged in misconduct. Now, couples in the Empire State may pursue a divorce if one spouse cites “irreconcilable differences,” or that the marriage has broken down irretrievably for at least six months prior to their separation.

Regardless of the reasons, if you are pursuing a divorce, it is important you consult with a knowledgeable divorce attorney in Dutchess County, NY to determine your legal options and establish the most appropriate course of action to pursue.

Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce in NY

When couples file for divorce in New York, they must indicate on their divorce papers the reason they are seeking a divorce. In a no-fault divorce, spouses do not wish to be married anymore or have grown apart over time, causing a breakdown in their marriage.

Additionally, spouses may seek a no-fault divorce if they have lived separate and apart for at least a year according to a court-ordered judgment of separation or a formal written agreement of separation. No-fault divorces have a much higher chance of success out of court in an uncontested manner, saving couples from the time and stress of a drawn-out contested divorce.

With that being said, not all divorces are the result of irreconcilable differences. A spouse may seek a fault-based divorce in the event that the other spouse has engaged in some sort of wrongful misconduct. We do recommend consulting with a lawyer before proceeding to gain the full scope of your particular divorce.

In New York, grounds for a fault-based divorce include:

  • Adultery
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Abandonment for at least one year
  • Incarceration for at least three years after the marriage

Spouses may choose to file for divorce based on fault in an attempt to gain an advantage in court, such as by citing a spouse’s domestic violence to pursue a larger portion of the marital estate. This is not without its drawbacks, however, as fault-based divorces typically turn into lengthy and heated legal battles. As such, spouses who are considering pursuing a fault-based divorce must be sure to weigh the associated emotional and financial costs when making their decision.

Discuss Your Case Today

At the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC, our attorneys can help you evaluate your situation and determine which grounds would be more advantageous for your divorce. Having served countless clients throughout Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster & Westchester Counties, we have established ourselves as trusted leaders within the family law community and can provide the premier-quality support you need. Nobody should have to endure the physical and emotional burden of divorce alone. Let us handle the legal heavy lifting on your behalf so you can move forward with peace of mind.

Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can assist you.


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