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Faulty Reasoning in NY: No Divorce Over Ignoring You

By Minara El-Rahman on November 24, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Here is another reason why us New Yorkers are tough cookies: we always need a reason (even if its faulty reasoning), even when it comes to divorce. It has to be a divorce over something.

New York State is the only state in the country that has not adopted a unilateral no-fault divorce statute. As a result of this, there are six grounds of divorce in New York. The six grounds of divorce are:

1. The cruel and inhuman treatment of plaintiff spouse by the defendant spouse.

2. The abandonment of the plaintiff spouse by the defendant spouse for a period of one or more years.

Actual abandonment means that one of the spouses physically left the marital home for unjustifiable reasons.

Constructive abandonment is the unjustified refusal to engage in sexual relations with the other spouse.

3. The confinement of the defendant spouse in prison for a period of three or more consecutive years after the marriage of plaintiff spouse and defendant spouse.

4. Adultery

5. The husband and wife have lived apart pursuant to a decree or judgment of separation for a period of one or more years.

6. The husband and wife have lived separate and apart pursuant to a written agreement of separation. This agreement must be filed with the county clerk's office.

New Rule on Grounds of Divorce Based on Abandonment

An NY Appellate Court has ruled that social abandonment may not be construed as constructive abandonment.

We wrote about the decision in detail in our post in Findlaw's Decided.

What Does This Mean for New Yorkers?

This means that New Yorkers will need a better reason to get a divorce in New York State. If your spouse is ignoring you, it just isn't enough. You need to show that your spouse won't sleep with you in order to show constructive abandonment.

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