New York Divorce Law

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What are the grounds for divorce in New York?

If you are a resident of the state of New York, four of the grounds in New York divorce law are based on "fault" of one of the parties. They are:

1) cruel and inhuman treatment;

2) abandonment for one or more years;

3) imprisonment for three or more consecutive years;

4) adultery (which can include "deviant sexual intercourse").

The only ground that doesn't call for one party to be at fault is one year living apart under either a separation agreement or a separation decree granted by a court. This is the closest thing New York divorce law has to a "no-fault" ground for divorce.

In most cases, fault has no bearing on the division of marital assets or on spousal support.


In New York divorce law, the court declares the marriage contract broken; in an annulment, the court says that there never was a marriage. Annulment is much more difficult to prove -- and is much rarer -- than divorce. If you want to go this route, you will definitely need to speak to an attorney. Ofcourse, if you want an annulment for religious reasons, you'll need to consult with your priest, minister, or rabbi as well.


You'll need to provide your divorce lawyer with the following documentation in order to proceed with your dissolution. Start gathering everything together as soon as possible so that you can find out what might be missing and submit any requests for duplicates.

Personal Data

• Full addresses, social-security numbers, and phone numbers of both parties.

• Full names, birth dates, addresses, and social-security numbers of all children of the marriage, their school and grade.

• Information about any prior marriage of either spouse, including a certified copy of the divorce decree.

• A copy of any domestic contracts (e.g. a prenuptial agreement).

• Information about any previous legal proceedings between the spouses or involving any of the children.

• Dates and particulars about any previous separations, attempts at reconciliation, or marriage counseling.

Financial Data

• Your previous year's income tax return, and any related data from the IRS.

• Information about your current income (e.g. a current pay slip).

• A list of substantial assets and liabilities of both spouses.

• Loan applications, broker's statements, stock certificates, insurance.

Martha chan is the V.P. Marketing of Divorce Magazine and which offers information on New York divorce lawyers, New York divorce law, New York family law and New York family law

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