Are you considering divorce but don’t know where to start with the divorce process? Read this article by experienced Jamestown divorce lawyer Scott Humble to learn more about the divorce process in New York.
Divorce has really changed over the last almost 30 years of my practice. Back before the law changed, we had to have grounds for divorce, whether it was cruel and inhumane, adultery, imprisonment, abandonment, whatever; that’s a lot of what people think of as grounds for divorce. New York, of course, was the last state in the Union to go in to implement what’s known as a no-fault divorce. What that means is that it doesn’t matter if there’s fault like cruel and inhumane treatment or adultery, or whatever the case may be. You are entitled to a divorce, if you really want one, if you have not gotten along with your spouse for the last six months. That’s a relatively low bar to cross to go and get a divorce. Six months is not a lot of time and all you have to do is either testify in court or sign an affidavit that you haven’t gotten along, and your divorce will be granted.
Special Laws Regarding Grounds for Divorce
There are three general categories of divorces: at-fault, no-fault, and separation. In the first of the three types of divorce, one spouse must prove that the other has committed a wrongdoing or a series of wrongdoings that has ruined the marriage beyond repair. No-fault divorces, in contrast, are filed when a marriage has simply broken down over a period of at least six months, and there is no one to legally blame for the end the marriage. Separation remains a widely used alternative to the above; divorces can be granted when both spouses have elected to live separately for at least one full year.
The grounds for at-fault divorces vary from state to state, and New York is among the majority of states that continue to recognize particular circumstances as grounds for divorce. While other states merely require proof that a marriage is “irretrievably broken.” New York recognizes and identifies four specific justifications for an at-fault divorce: abandonment, adultery, cruelty, and imprisonment. If one spouse has refused to cohabit with the other for at least one full year, has had sexual relations with another person, has engaged in physical or emotional abuse, or has been imprisoned for at least three years since the start of the marriage, the other spouse may file for divorce. There are further specific criteria that a couple must meet in order to file for an at-fault divorce, and in order to determine if any of these grounds is relevant to your case, you should consult an experienced Jamestown divorce lawyer for legal guidance.
Are you preparing for divorce but still have questions about the divorce process? Contact experienced Jamestown divorce lawyer Scott F. Humble for a free confidential consultation. Let his 30+ years of experience work for you.