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What are acceptable grounds for an at-fault divorce in New York?

In New York, it is possible to file either for an at-fault or no\-fault divorce. Both serve the same purpose -- ending the marriage -- but each has different requirements. This column will address what grounds are acceptable for an at-fault divorce filing.

Fault-based divorces can be filed for various reasons. These include cruel treatment, abandonment, imprisonment or adultery. Obviously, individual circumstances will determine which will be named in a dissolution filing.

Each of the approved grounds for divorce have specific requirements that must be met before a judge will sign off on the dissolution of marriage. For cruel treatment, one must be able to provide proof of abuse. For abandonment, one must provide evidence that his or her spouse has been out of the picture for at least one year. For imprisonment, one's spouse must be incarcerated for at least three years before a divorce can be requested. Finally, for adultery, one will have to provide evidence of a spouse's unfaithfulness.

For some it will be easy to provide the evidence required to file an at-fault divorce. However, others may lack the information needed. Thankfully, no-fault divorces are also available when meeting the requirements for at-fault divorces is not possible.

Whether one chooses to file a no-fault or at-fault divorce really depends on his or her personal circumstances. Both can be challenging to get through without assistance. An experienced family law attorney can help New York residents with submitting the divorce filings appropriate for their situations, and assist them in achieving settlements that are fair and balanced.

Source:, "Know The Laws: New York -- What are the grounds for divorce?", Accessed on Jan. 18, 2017

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