Divorce Laws in Long Island

When you make the important decision to settle down with your partner finally, you hope that your marriage will last forever. This is a moment to declare your love for your spouse-to-be. It is normal to be eager to spend your life with the person you love. However, a time may come when the relationship derails, and both of you find it difficult to get it back on track. When a marriage comes to a dead end, some people consider the option of divorce. Divorce laws in Long Island specify the grounds for which a court of law may grant a divorce. When filing for divorce, remember that although New York is a no-fault divorce state, there are still legal grounds “on the books”:

Irretrievable breakdown of the relationship

When a marriage has irretrievably broken down, this is known as “No-Fault.” This means that the relationship between spouses has suffered irreparable damage for at least six months. Under such circumstances, you will not be blaming your spouse for the relationship ending. You will simply file for divorce on these grounds.


When opening a divorce case in Long Island, it is important to understand what abandonment means. This refers to a situation where your spouse has kicked you out of the house. Abandonment also covers a situation where your spouse left the house without your consent and has been gone for at least one year. If they do not have an intention to return, then this will qualify as abandonment.


This simply means that your spouse had sex with another person while they were legally married to you. Although it is a legal reason to file for divorce, this ground is rarely used. This is because there are certain legal requirements that you will have to prove before the divorce is granted.

Inhumane treatment

In case continued living with your spouse will lead to adverse effects to your physical and mental wellbeing, this can be classified as cruel treatment. This may cover issues such as constant physical, emotional or verbal abuse from your spouse. During the divorce process, you will need to show how your spouse’s behavior endangers your physical and mental health.


The laws in Long Island consider imprisonment as a reasonable legal ground for seeking divorce from your spouse. However, your spouse must have been sentenced to at least 3 years in jail in the course of the marriage. In case they were released more than 5 years before the filing of the divorce, imprisonment cannot be used as grounds for divorce.

Separation agreement

In case you have not lived together with your spouse for one year or more and have your Agreement of Separation legalized by a notary, you will have legal reasons for filing for divorce. However, you should have abided by the conditions of the agreement if you are to use this as the cause for divorce.

Under the divorce laws in Long Island, your spouse has the right to contest the divorce. With the prolonged and expensive nature of contested divorce cases, you may consider an uncontested divorce, mediation, and collaborative divorce as possible alternatives.


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Doug Woodby

Doug Woodby

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