The Law Offices of David Smoren, PLLC
The Law Office of David SmorenThe Law Office of David Smoren
Follow Us:Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Grounds – Legal Basis

Grounds are the legal basis for one or both parties to obtain a judgment of divorce dissolving the marriage.  Until recently, New York State has long been recognized as a “fault state”, typically requiring one or both parties to a divorce action to allege some type of legally recognized fault against one another.

This has all changed effective October 12, 2010, when New York State adopted an additional ground for divorce which does not require the parties to allege marital fault. This new no-fault divorce provision simply requires one spouse to allege that the couple’s relationship has “broken down irretrievable for a period of at least six months”.

This new no-fault provision does not abolish the existing six grounds for divorce which continue to remain available to divorcing couples.  The legal grounds for divorce are as follows:

  • The cruel and inhuman treatment of one spouse by the other.
  •  The actual or sexual abandonment of one spouse by the other.
  • The confinement of one spouse in prison for 3 consecutive years.
  • The commission of an act of adultery.
  • The spouses having lived separate and apart pursuant to decree or judgment of separation for a period of one or more years.
  • The spouses having lived separate and apart pursuant to a written agreement of separation.
  • The relationship between the spouses has broken down irretrievable for at least 6 months.

Choosing the ground or multiple grounds as a basis for the divorce can seem confusing and rightfully so. Selecting the legal basis on which to proceed must be decided carefully as each ground for divorce typically requires specific factual allegations and many have other legal requirements that must be adhered to. If a specific ground does not comport with the law an opposing spouse can request dismissal of the action for divorce. If the matter is dismissed the parties will remain legally married. 

At the Law Offices of David Smoren, PLLC we have the experience to advise you of the proper grounds for divorce as well as putting forth a defense to improperly filed divorce actions.

Call us today at 718 225-6700 for a free phone consultation, or to arrange for a comprehensive office consultation to discuss your options or simply post a comment or question on the contact form.