If you have decided to get a divorce in the state of New York, you will need to meet residency requirements and establish a legal reason for the divorce. Under New York law, there are seven possible legal reasons for divorce.
You may cite to any of the following reasons in your divorce petition:
- Irretrievable breakdown of relationship (no-fault divorce): Your marriage has been over for at least six months and you and your ex have settled all issues relating to your divorce (property division, child custody, etc.).
- Abandonment: Your spouse has abandoned you (e.g., moving out of the home with no plans to return) for at least one year.
- Cruelty: Your spouse has put you in danger, physically or mentally, during the last five years.
- Adultery: Your spouse has had relations with someone else during your marriage and a third party can provide evidence of this.
- Imprisonment: Your spouse went to prison after you got married and has been imprisoned for at least 3 years in a row. You may use this reason during your spouse’s sentence or up to five years after their release.
- Legal separation agreement: You and your spouse filed a separation agreement, lived apart for one year, and met all requirements included in the agreement.
- Judgment of separation: Supreme court entered judgment of separation and you and your spouse have lived apart for one year.
It can be difficult to decide which ground to use when filing for divorce. Many couples file for a no-fault divorce if they do not meet the criteria for any of the other legal grounds for divorce.