Should I Cite Fault Grounds During my New York Divorce?

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When getting divorced, one of the first choices you will have to make is whether to file for a no-fault divorce. Read on to learn more about the divorce process in New York.

Fault grounds vs no-fault grounds:

Before divorce proceedings begin, spouses have the opportunity to cite fault grounds. Grounds refers to the legal reason the divorce is occurring. In New York, you can file on the grounds of: 

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment for a minimum of one year
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Imprisonment
  • Institutionalization

A common question is whether or not to cite fault grounds. New York is a “no-fault” state, meaning that you can cite “irretrievable breakdown of marriage.” So, how do you decide? When weighing the pros and cons, it is important to note that citing fault grounds can cause more harm than good. This is because they can be contested. Additionally, they may require evidence. For example, if you file for divorce on the grounds of adultery, you may have to provide evidence of your spouse’s infidelity. Additionally, your spouse will have the opportunity to refute your claims. This can be a long, stressful, and expensive process. Additionally, fault grounds generally don’t play a major role when it comes to things like the division of assets, child support, and so on. As a result, most couples choose to file for a no-fault divorce. In order to qualify for a no-fault divorce, you will have to meet the following requirements:

  • One or both parties have lived in the state without interruption for at least two years
  • One or both parties have lived in the state in the year before the divorce case and the couple either got married in NY, lived in NY as a married couple, or the grounds for divorce happened in NY.
  • Both are residents on the day of filing for divorce

Divorce is a stressful process, but having the right attorney on your side can make all the difference. Reach out to our firm today to speak with a skilled and dedicated divorce attorney. We are here to advocate for you every step of the way.


Matters of divorce and family law should be navigated with the guidance of an experienced attorney. If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.

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I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

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I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

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After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

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I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

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The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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