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Abandonment is a fault-based ground for divorce


If a Mohawk Valley resident decides that they want to end their marriage, they have some choices to make regarding the grounds on which their pending divorce will be based. They may choose to pursue a no fault divorce, which effectively says that the marriage is over by agreement of the parties. Or, they may pursue a fault-based divorce, which places the blame for the divorce on the other spouse.

In New York, there are seven fault-based grounds on which a divorce may be pursued. This post will focus on one of those fault-based grounds: abandonment. Based on the laws of the state, a married person can commit abandonment either through constructive means or through actual action.

Actual abandonment is the most easy to demonstrate. To actually abandon one's spouse, a party must physically leave their spouse for at least a year and must not intend to ever return. To constructively leave one's spouse, a person does not have to leave their spouse's home but must not engage in sexual acts with their spouse for at least one year.

In the event that a party chooses to pursue a divorce based either on actual abandonment or constructive abandonment, they must first meet the residency requirements of the state to file within a New York jurisdiction. To pursue a New York divorce, a person or their spouse must be a resident of the state or the grounds for the divorce must have occurred within the borders of the state.

There are many different reasons that a person may use when deciding to end their legal relationship with their spouse. Abandonment is just one of the seven fault-based grounds that a person may utilize. Future posts on this Mohawk Valley family law blog will explore the other six fault-based grounds for divorce available within New York.

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