grounds for divorce/legal separation

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grounds for divorce/legal separation

if my wife refuses to have marital relations with me (there is absolute no abuse of any kind), is this grounds for divorce in NY

Asked on May 18, 2009 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

New York is a grounds state which means she must do something to warrant the divorce. If there has been no sex for over a year even though you sought same and she was not suffering from any physical ailments that made sex uncomfortable or unsafe, than after a year you can seek a divorce. If the lack of sex is coupled with other issues such as verbal abuse or other actions which make it uncomfortable or unsafe for you to continue living with her, you could seek the divorce on the grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment. What constitutes this depends greatly on the length of the marriage and needs to be more than just basic imcompatability.  If you an your wife are in agreement to get divorced, you could file a separation agreement which outlines all terms and file this wiuth the County Clerk. After a year either party can file for a divorce and no grounds are needed.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

New York does not recognize "irreconcilable differences" as a basis for divorce.  In New York there are divorces after separation (which requires a separation agreement signed by both parties in effect for a year which can then convert to a divorce after a year and a day) and fault-based divorces, which require grounds, and of which there are different types.  Your question seems to fall under the grounds known as "Contructive Abandonment", which is the refusal to engage in sexual relations for at least one year.  You should consult a lawyer as to the most amicable way of resolving the matter, especially if there are children involved.

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A divorce can occur for several reasons.  There is no requirment that you fall within a certain catergory other than that one no longer wants to be married anymore.  Therefore, you do not need to worry about not qualifying for the ability to file a divorce.  Usually people cite irreconcile differences as the basis for a divorce.  Your issue certainly falls within that realm so to speak.  Therefore, I suggest filing the action first so that your lawyer can control the pleadings and so forth.  I suggest you hire a lawyer, especially if you have assets in excess of 100K.


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