What are Grounds for Divorce in New York?

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There are many different reasons as to why a couple may wish to divorce. This can vary depending on the marriage, as not all couples and divorces are the same. When divorce proceedings begin, spouses must state their reasoning for filing. This is known as citing “grounds” for divorce. Once this is done, the proceedings can continue depending on the situation. Those facing these matters should retain the services of an experienced New York divorce attorney for guidance.

Grounds for Divorce

Many people believe that when a divorce happens, it is always because of one party’s “fault.” However, this is not always the reality of the situation. Spouses can cite either fault or no-fault grounds to begin their divorce. No-fault grounds are cited when neither spouse wants to hold the other liable for the end of their marriage. This is seen when the relationship has broken down over a period of at least six months and the spouses believe it can no longer be fixed. This is often referred to as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.”

Alternatively, spouses who cite fault grounds do wish to hold their partner responsible for the divorce. In New York, actions that are legally acceptable to file fault grounds for divorce can include:

  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Abandonment
  • Imprisonment
  • Adultery

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

When couples go through a divorce, they have to determine the future of their marital issues. This can include child custody, child support, alimony, the division of assets, and more. When a couple is unable to reach agreements on these matters, it is known as a contested divorce. This is often seen in cases where fault grounds are cited, as these spouses tend to be “against” one another. These situations can require the couple to go to court and divorce through litigation. This allows a judge to make decisions for them.

When spouses can agree to the terms of their divorce, it is known as an uncontested divorce. This is sometimes seen when no-fault grounds are cited, as spouses may be better able to communicate with one another if neither party is at fault. Spouses in these cases may be able to participate in alternative divorce methods rather than litigation. This can include mediation, arbitration, or a collaborative divorce. These options let spouses discuss their marital issues in a productive way to reach agreements. 

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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.

Why choose our firm?

We have an excellent AVVO rating from our many happy clients

We will tirelessly pursue a favorable resolution to your case

We offer aggressive and effective representation

We treat our clients with the compassion, patience, and respect that they deserve

We have more than 20 years of dedicated legal experience

We have the legal knowledge necessary to help you obtain the outcome you desire

We tailor our practice to the representation of your divorce case

What Our Clients Are Saying

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!

‐ Dave

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.

‐ Craig

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...

‐ Linda

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...

‐ Joanne


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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