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:
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:
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.
As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 28 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.
Alexandra M. Rockwood is a Senior Associate Attorney with the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis & Associates and has been with the firm since early 2020. She primarily practices in the areas of matrimonial and family law, including divorce, child custody, and child support. Alexandra is a practicing matrimonial and family law attorney as…