Ground for Uncontested Divorce

Legal Ground for Divorce in New York State

To commence an uncontested divorce you need a legal reason, called “grounds” for a divorce. Our NY uncontested divorce law firm is well versed in the various grounds for divorce. Our uncontested divorce law firm is conveniently located in White Plains, New York close to the divorce court. Our uncontested divorce lawyer and attorneys are experts in ground for divorce and will represent you in correctly completing all paperwork so that your divorce goes smooth.

The Grounds for Divorce

In order to file for an uncontested divorce in New York State you must have a ground (a legally acceptable reason) for the NY divorce court to grant and uncontested divorce. There are 7 legally acceptable reasons for divorce in New York State. They are:

  • DRL §170 (1) cruel and inhuman treatment
  • DRL §170 (2) abandonment
  • DRL §170 (3) imprisonment
  • DRL §170 (4) adultery
  • DRL §170 (5) living separate and apart pursuant to a separation judgment or decree
  • DRL §170 (6) living separate and apart pursuant to a separation agreement
  • DRL §170 (7) irretrievable breakdown in relationship for a period at least six months (commonly known as “no-fault divorce”)
DRL §170 (1) Cruel and Inhuman Treatment

In order to use this ground, the treatment must rise to the level that your physical or mental well being is endangered and making it unsafe or improper to continue living together. Mere acts of arguments or isolated incidents do not meet the standard. You must describe the specific acts of cruelty along with details like dates and places.

DRL §170 (2) Abandonment

In order to use this ground, your spouse must have abandoned you for a period of one year or longer prior to commencing the action and continuing to the present. Abandonment requires your spouse physically departing your marital home without any intention of returning for a period of one year or longer prior to commencing the action, continuing to the present, and without any good reason for doing so and without your consent. Abandonment can also occur when your spouse locks you out for a period of one or more years.

A different form of abandonment is called constructive abandonment, in which your spouse refuses to engage in sexual relations continuously for one year or longer prior to commencing the action, and continuing to the present, without your consent, good cause, or justification and despite your repeated requests.

DRL §170 (3) Imprisonment

To use this ground, your spouse must be imprisoned in jail for a period of at least three consecutive years commencing after the date of the marriage. Imprisonment also works if your spouse was released so long as you commence the uncontested divorce within 5 years of his release.

DRL §170 (4) Adultery

To use this ground, your spouse must have cheated on you during the course of the marriage. While straightforward, this ground is often cumbersome because it has a high burden of proof. In fact, even your spouse admitting to the adultery does not count. There must be 3rd party independent evidence, i.e, a statement from the paramour.

DRL §170 (5) Living Separate and Apart Pursuant to a Separation Judgment or Decree

Using this ground converts a previous judgment of separation, i.e., a divorce court ordered separation, into a divorce. The parties must have lived separate and apart for at least 1 year and adhered to all of the terms of the judgment of divorce before they can go forward with a full uncontested divorce with this ground.

DRL §170 (6) Living Separate and Apart Pursuant to a Separation Agreement

To use this ground for an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must have lived apart for more than one year according to the terms and conditions of a properly executed separation agreement.

DRL §170 (7) Irretrievable Breakdown in Relationship for a Period at Least Six Months (commonly known as “No-Fault Divorce”)

To use this ground, your relationship with your spouse must have broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months. At a minimum, one of the spouses must swear under oath that the relationship has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months; and all the economic issues of distribution of property, maintenance, child support, and counsel fees, experts fees, expenses, custody and visitation, must be resolved as a condition precedent to getting divorced on this ground.

The attorneys at our uncontested divorce law firm know that this is confusing to the average person. That is why we are here to assist you in your divorce and make it go smooth. We know that you may have further questions. If that is the case, pick up the phone and give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss what’s on your mind and answer and questions or concerns you have.

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