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New York Divorce FAQ

New York Divorce Attorneys

1. What are the Grounds for Filing for Divorce in New York?

There are multiple grounds that can be alleged in New York in a divorce Link to Divorce action. However, in October of 2012 New York State became the last state to finally enact a No-Fault divorce ground.

Therefore, it is likely that most, if not all, future divorce actions will be brought under this ground, although all of the other remaining grounds are still available.

The grounds for divorce in New York are:

  • (1) Cruel and inhuman treatment;
  • (2) The abandonment of the Plaintiff by the Defendant for a period of one or more years;
  • (3) The confinement of the Defendant in prison for a period of three or more consecutive years after the marriage;
  • (4) The commission of adultery voluntarily performed by the Defendant with a person other than the Plaintiff after the marriage;
  • (5) Living apart pursuant to a decree or judgment of separation for a period of one or more years after granting of such decree or judgment;
  • (6) Living separate and apart pursuant to a written agreement of separation signed by the parties for a period of one or more years after the signing of the agreement;
  • (7) The relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months, provided that one party has so stated under oath.

Paragraph 7 above is the No-Fault ground for divorce in New York and what this essentially means is a divorce will be granted on that ground only after that parties or the court has resolved ALL issues in the marriage. This is different from all of the other grounds for divorce in New York which requires that the party prove the ground for divorce before a final determination will be made on all of the other economic and custody issues of the marriage.

2. Can I Modify Custody?

You can modify a custody order in New York when there has been substantial change in circumstances since the last custody order in the case. What is considered substantial is up to the court to decide, and again, there really is not hard and fast rule or guideline to follow.

If you can establish that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the last custody order, then the court will again base its determination on the modification petition by applying the same standard as before; what's in the best interest of the child.

3. Who will get Custody of Our Child?

If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on the custodial arrangement for your child, then custody can be determined through Family Court or as part of a divorce action.

The court will base its custody decision applying the standard of what is in the best interests of the child, which there is no hard and fast rule or guideline to apply. In the large majority of cases, there will usually be some type of shared custody.

Talk with us and we will help you make the hard decisions. For more information about any component of a divorce filing, or to schedule an appointment to speak with a lawyer at our office in downtown Troy, contact us at Bartle, McGrane, Duffy & Jones, LLP, today.

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