In New York, you need legal grounds — reasons recognized by the state’s divorce laws — to get a divorce. There are two categories of legal grounds in New York State: fault-based and no fault.
In New York, a divorce can be granted on no-fault grounds. In no-fault divorce, the person who is filing claims that the marriage has broken down irretrievably (“irreconcilable differences“) for at least 6 months. It is not necessary that the couple has been living apart for six months, or at all, as long as one party claims the marriage is no longer working.
Sometimes to gain advantage in custody or spousal support dispute, a person may choose to file for divorce on fault-based grounds. In New York State these grounds are:
If there is a formal written or court-ordered separation, divorce can also be granted after one year of living separately with no further grounds cited.
Divorces are complicated and each case is unique. If you are contemplating a divorce, a consultation with a knowledgeable divorce attorney can help you decide which grounds would be appropriate and most advantageous in your circumstances.