What Are Considered Valid Reasons for Legal Divorce in New York?

Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Carla Barone with Cohen Forman Barone, LLP.

What Are Considered Valid Reasons for Legal Divorce in New York?
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While most people filing for divorce have no issue establishing their eligibility, it may be interesting to note that every state has slightly different requirements for what are considered valid reasons to divorce. While in most cases you must first establish that you were a resident in the state of filing for at least two years prior to beginning the divorce process, the only additional requirement revolves around establishing a state-acknowledge valid reason for the divorce. 

Valid reasons for divorce in the state of New York include:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Imprisonment
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Irretrievable breakdown in the relationship (minimum 6 months)
  • Divorce after a legal separation agreement
  • Divorce after a judgment of separation

If none of the above reasons seem to apply to your case, think again. In most cases, it is possible to prove an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship over a certain period of time; the term “irretrievable breakdown in the relationship” is sort of the catch-all for reasons for divorce not listed above.

It is highly recommended to consult with an attorney before filing for divorce.

Negotiating and filing for divorce without the help of lawyers might seem like a great way to save money and prioritize efficiency; unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Filing for divorce without an attorney on your side to orient you with the rights belonging to you and your spouse during the divorce could result in a settlement that comes back to bite you later. 

For example, couples filing for divorce without the help of an attorney may later find that retirement and other benefits accrued during the marriage were not separated, leaving one spouse with a nice cushion for retirement and the other with nothing. This is just one example of a faux pas that commonly occurs when couples attempt to handle a divorce case on their own. That said, a family law attorney may be able to help with your case even if you have already started or are nearing the end of the negotiations.

Divorce laws vary from state to state.

It is especially important to consult with an attorney if child custody, child and/or spousal support, and division of property are involved. The laws surrounding these issues vary from state to state, and a couple who makes an agreement on their own might not realize until they try to enforce the agreement that it is not legally binding. This can lead to tension as the couple is forced to renegotiate matters they already expended energy and stress to figure out the first time around. Even though hiring a divorce attorney costs money, it typically results in a more advantageous separation for both parties, financially and emotionally, making the right attorney well worth it.

To learn more about reasons for divorce in New York, or to learn more about what a divorce attorney can do for you, reach out to an experienced family lawyer in your area.

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