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Serious Grounds: Cruel and Inhuman Treatment

In October 2010, legislation passed in New York to provide an additional ground for divorce.  Irretrievable breakdown became the New York version of a no-fault ground for divorce.  Although couples could previously divorce without declaring fault through legal separation for a year or more, the new ground enabled couples to move toward divorce with only a sworn statement of marital breakdown lasting six months.

While the addition of this ground lightens the load of divorcing couples by removing the need for proving fault, or separating for a year, there remain four grounds for at-fault divorce, including:

  • Abandonment for over a year
  • Adultery
  • Imprisonment over three years
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment

While many consider stony silence or lack of attention from their spouse as cruel and inhuman, the persistent disagreements and unhappiness that lead many couples to divorce is not the premise of this ground.

According to New York law, cruel and inhuman treatment is behavior so threatening to a marriage partner that cohabitation is not safe—meaning mental or physical cruelty.  Examples include:

  • Domestic violence
  • Verbal abuse like persistent screaming
  • Unfounded accusations of infidelity
  • Flagrant display of an adulterous relationship

No one deserves cruel treatment, or to suffer domestic violence or abuse at the hands of their spouse.  The severity of the ground echoes in the severity of the experience of those who suffer it.  If you have questions about this ground for divorce, call my office today.

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Randy  S.  Margulis Attorney Photo
Randy S. Margulis
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As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 25 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.

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    5.0/5.0

    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

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    5.0/5.0

    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

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    5.0/5.0

    Randy Margulis is knowledgable of Domestic Law, dedicated, responsive, personable, aggressive and effective. I came to him on a friend's recommendation as well as Randy's reputation, and during the initial consultation I liked his approach and track ...

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    Found Mr. Margulis to be a very organized and professional individual to work with. He is well-respected by his peers and is spoken of highly, I believe this helped with my divorce and made things go smoothly. I would highly recommend his services ...

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    5.0/5.0

    Randy is very firm and effective in court while empathetic to his clients. I am a domestic violence victim, and Randy made me feel safe and protected. My financial award was more than I envisioned it to be when I started my divorce. I can't thank ...

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