Since 2010, no-fault divorce has become a popular option for divorcing couples. Even against your spouse’s wishes, you may initiate divorce proceedings by citing that the marriage has been irretrievably broken for the past six months.
Navigating Your Divorce Options
A no-fault divorce spares you from the burden of proving fault. Yet there are still many issues to be negotiated in a divorce, including spousal support, property division and issues involving children. If your spouse contests the divorce, you will need an experienced attorney to utilize divorce litigation tactics to advocate for your rights. There may also be situations where you prefer to file for a fault-based divorce. A finding of fault may influence the court’s response to requests for spousal support. Although the court determines child custody and visitation arrangements by the best interest of the child standard, the context surrounding a fault-based divorce might also impact the court’s estimation of whether one party is fit to fulfill parental responsibilities.
In New York, couples may file for a fault-based divorce on any of the following grounds:
- Cruel and inhuman treatment that makes it unsafe or improper for the couple to continue living together (such as physical or mental abuse)
- Physical or constructive abandonment for at least one year
- Incarceration for at least three consecutive years after the marriage
- Legal separation for at least one year
Finally, New York couples may also utilize two additional divorce alternatives: separation agreements and civil annulments. Couples who are legally separated live apart but remain married, making it possible to amend the marriage. Civil annulment is a legal declaration that a marriage never existed, typically for reasons of fraud or facts that would have voided the marriage in the first place.
For over 30 years at the law office of Jay S. Baum, we have helped couples realize their goals for legal separation, annulment or divorce. We have the experience to find the option right for your needs.