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Grounds for divorce in New York State

In New York State, and everywhere else in the United States, there are many different reasons for a couple to want a divorce. Abandonment is one of them. One spouse may divorce the other spouse if the second has abandoned the other for a period of more than one year. Abandonment may occur when the spouse leaves the marital home with no intention of returning within one year and without the consent of the partner.

Constructive abandonment is also another reason for divorce. That happens when one spouse refuses to have a sexual relationship with the other spouse for a period of more than a year. That situation must have occurred for no apparent reason.

Lock out is another form of abandonment that is also a reason for divorce. This happens when one spouse refuses to let the other spouse into the house for more than one year. Under the imprisonment grounds for divorce, the person may also file for divorce if his or her spouse has been in prison for more than three years. The spouse must become incarcerated following the wedding. However, if the spouse was released more than five years ago and opposes the divorce, there is a chance that the case may be dismissed.

Adultery is another reason for divorce in New York State. Adultery is considered a sexual deviation in the eyes of the law and if a partner has committed adultery, that is a ground for divorce. However, adultery is not easy to prove, as the plaintiff's testimony is not the only testimony that is needed. A third person's affidavit proving adultery is also required and the documented proof needs to be included in the court submission. Adultery may also qualify as an act of cruelty and, hence, is a justifiable ground for divorce.

Source:, "What You Need To Know Before Starting Your Divorce Action," April 27, 2014

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