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A Long Island Divorce Attorney Can Help You Understand the Grounds for a Divorce in the state of New York

Long Island Divorce GroundsHaving tried to work out your relationship with your spouse and considered the pros and cons of divorce and legal separation, you have decided to seek the services of a Long Island divorce attorney in ending your relationship. You haven’t come to this decision lightly, but you know it is the best thing for you, your spouse and your children (if any) and you’ll all be happier and lead better lives apart than together.

If you have not yet been to see a divorce attorney, you may be wondering if there are any limitations on an action for divorce. When reviewing the specific circumstances of your relationship, you may wonder what will be important to your court case and what will be immaterial. Fortunately for you and the thousands of Long Island couples who get divorced each year, New York State permits couples to get divorced for seven (7) different, all unique, reasons. What this means for you is that the grounds that were appropriate for your friend or cousin may not be appropriate for you and your relationship. Accordingly, you will find a basis for divorce that fits your personal situation below.

Cruel & Inhuman Treatment

According to Long Island Divorce Attorney Robert E. Hornberger, Esq. in New York couples may get divorced if one spouse has subjected the other to cruel and inhuman treatment. These grounds include physical, emotional, or verbal abuse that endangers the other’s physical or mental well-being. If you feel you are in an abusive relationship and wish to file a complaint in a divorce action you MUST be aware of the five (5) year statute of limitations which applies in this instance. This is simpler than it sounds, as all this statute of limitations means is that the cause of action, in this case the abusive behavior, must have occurred within the last five (5) years for the case to be actionable. If it has been five (5) years and one (1) day since your spouse hit you or degraded you, you cannot file for divorce based upon cruel and inhuman treatment.

Abandonment for a Period of at Least One (1) Year

No one wants to be in relationship, let alone be married, to someone who has physically abandoned them. If your spouse has moved out of the marital residence, or even locked you out of the marital residence, you can allege abandonment in your divorce complaint, however, physical relocation is not the only set of circumstances which may qualify as abandonment. Constructive abandonment occurs when your spouse refuses to engage in sexual relations with you. You and your spouse may still be living together, but the marital relationship has ceased to exist as you had known it. However, all couples have bumps in the road and you and your spouse may go a week or a month without sexual relations or you or your spouse may move to a friend or relative’s place for a month because you both need space. This does not qualify as abandonment; in order to assert this as the basis for a cause of action for divorce, the abandonment must have lasted at least one (1) year.

Imprisonment of the Defendant Spouse for Three (3) or More Consecutive Years during the Marriage

As unlikely as this may have seemed when you were first married, New York State prisons are full of inmates who were married at the time of their incarceration. Consider the following possible scenarios:

You and your spouse are happily married and then your spouse robs a bank and is sentenced to ten (10) years in jail. Or, your spouse is convicted of embezzlement from his company or some other white collar crime.

At the beginning, you vow to work through the inevitable difficulties facing you and make your relationship stronger than ever at the time your spouse is released. While that sounds wonderful, we all know life happens and things aren’t always as easy as we assume. Four (4) years into your spouse’s ten (10) year sentence, you begin to have a change of heart and you no longer want to be married to someone who is inevitably going to be a different person when you see them outside the prison walls in ten (10) years. You wonder what options you have other than to remain in a marriage in which you are not happy.

Well, if you have thought this through and are seeking the services of a Long Island divorce attorney, it may be of interest to you that imprisonment of the defendant spouse for three (3) or more consecutive years during the marriage is a ground for divorce in New York State. You do not have to make this decision immediately; once the initial three (3) consecutive years have passed, you can file for divorce at any time while your spouse is in prison, and even for up to five (5) years after he or she is released.

Adultery

Adultery – the typical scarlet letter that jumps to the front of everyone’s mind when someone says divorce. However, this is not always the reason couples get divorced and frankly, it is the hardest grounds to base a divorce upon. In order to be granted a divorce based upon adultery, the plaintiff spouse must be able to prove that the defendant spouse committed adultery during the course of the marriage. Why is this so difficult to establish you ask? Well, to put it quite simply, you need evidence from a third party, which would likely be your spouse’s paramour, that adultery was committed. It is rare that this individual would be willing to take the stand in your divorce proceeding and testify to these actions.

Husband & Wife Have Lived Separate and Apart for at Least One (1) Year Pursuant to a Written Separation Agreement or Judgment of Separation (Conversion Divorce)

Obtaining a Conversion Divorce was the closest thing to a No-Fault divorce in New York State before it adopted the grounds of Irretrievable Breakdown. Couples would enter a Legal Separation agreement, wait at least one (1) year, and then submit papers to the court to obtain a final Judgment of Divorce. Now, this situation is becoming less and less common. However, if you have a separation agreement that has been in effect for at least one (1) year and you and your spouse have lived separate and apart for that same time period, you should speak to your Long Island divorce attorney about a Conversion Divorce. To obtain a conversion divorce, you are not required to allege any of the above fault-based grounds for divorce; the divorce is based solely on the separation agreement itself.

Irretrievable breakdown (aka No Fault Divorce)

Long after most states had adopted No-Fault divorce statutes, New York still required one spouse to allege fault against the other in order to proceed with a divorce (absent cases of conversion divorce as stated above). However, in 2010, New York became a no-fault divorce state. For couples who do not want to place blame on one another, this has become the most popular ground for divorce. A complaint for divorce in this instance does not need to say who did what or who didn’t do what. All that must be said is that the marital relationship has broken down to a point of no repair for at least six (6) months.

Now that you have been briefly informed of the various grounds for divorce in New York State, you will be better prepared for your initial meeting with a Long Island divorce attorney.

Ready to Move Forward with Your Long Island Divorce?

For more information about divorce, visit this page: Divorce Lawyers Answer Questions about Long Island Divorce. If, now that you have read about the various grounds for divorce in New York State, you will be better prepared for your initial meeting with a Long Island divorce attorney. The experienced and compassionate divorce attorneys at Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., PC have utilized all the different legal grounds for divorce to help Long Island couples end their marriages and move on with their lives. In addition to different grounds for divorce, there are a number of different methodologies, including divorce litigation, divorce mediation, collaborative divorce, no fault divorce, contested and uncontested divorce which may or may not be appropriate for your unique relationship and circumstances. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 for a complimentary divorce consultation where we’ll discuss your unique situation and the options available to you.

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Jenny Allen
Jenny Allen
13:26 18 Jun 22
Mr. Hornberger was so helpful to me in a recent consultation. He gave me his time generously, listened patiently, offered clear counsel, and said I didn't actually need further legal services in a particular matter, which I really appreciated.
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Jenny Allen
Jenny Allen
13:26 18 Jun 22
Mr. Hornberger was so helpful to me in a recent consultation. He gave me his time generously, listened patiently,... offered clear counsel, and said I didn't actually need further legal services in a particular matter, which I really appreciated.read more
Elizabeth Martin
Elizabeth Martin
21:06 25 Jan 22
The team at Hornberger Verbitsky made me feel at ease after I retained them after a 3 year contested divorce process. I... like their approach with how they educate you on ways to get the best outcome in your divorce. Mr. Hornberger made me feel heard and was compassionate to my case while also being aggressive in the courtroom to help me get the most positive outcome. He prevented my case from having to go to trial and he closed the deal in my long drawn out emotional divorce. I was happy that I retained him and would recommend him to anyone that is going through a high conflict divorce.read more
rrezarta lekaj
rrezarta lekaj
20:47 24 Nov 21
Christine is truly the best there is. She is beyond professional, personable, genuine, extremely trusting, and has made... such a stressful and emotional time for my family and I easier to get through. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your guidance, your support, and being there every step of the way. I would highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. to anyone that is in need for legal advice - you will be in the best hands.read more
Janine Martello D'onofrio
Janine Martello D'onofrio
21:00 02 Oct 21
Rob and Christine are the very best out there!I can not say enough about them. They both have helped me so much in... different matters throughout the last several years . They have gone over and beyond!I highly recommend this law firm !read more
Tara Tocci
Tara Tocci
20:59 17 Sep 21
I called to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss a mediated divorce, the office was fantastic with getting... me a prompt appointment. When going in all my questions were asked and I left feeling comfortable in my decision to move forward in using the Hornberger/Verbitsky office. Despite a pandemic going on the office still worked diligently to get my papers filed and my divorce complete in a timely manner. Highly recommend!read more
cristina romero
cristina romero
20:17 17 Sep 21
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C were phenomenal in every way. Robert was very genuine, patient and professional. Walking in,... I had no idea what to expect but he went above and beyond to explain the entire process thoroughly. He guided and informed me of my rights. Patty was amazing, she answered every question I had no matter how many times I called, she was very understanding. I highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Even if its just for questions on how to navigate this process.read more
Kerri
Kerri
16:57 17 Sep 21
Rob and his team are by far one of the greatest! Patty is amazing and will make sure all of your questions are... addressed and responded to. Rob and his team made a very tough time in my life as simple as possible. Rob is extremely knowledgeable and very empathetic. Patty was a pleasure to work with and I would recommend this firm to anyone that needs a great divorce attorney. Thank you for all of your help!read more
Angela Thearle
Angela Thearle
00:21 07 Aug 21
Hornberger law was the best choice I made when I needed to go to family court with my ex for custody of my children.... They were there at any time when I neeeded them. Going through a custody battle can be a huge emotional rollercoaster and very painful. They helped me through it and made it less painful and heartbreaking. And I got the outcome plus more than I expectedread more
Tammy Granville
Tammy Granville
11:49 04 Jul 21
Everyone was very professional. Never had to call to get an update on my case. Someone always updated me on a regular... basis.read more
LilMissPerfct Dessie
LilMissPerfct Dessie
06:46 11 Feb 21
I am a graduate of Norland English nanny college. I thank God every day that Mr. Robert Hornberger protected my clients... in the legal ways i could not. Children are a blessing not a blender to be fought over during some silly spat!read more
Anastasia R
Anastasia R
22:45 17 Dec 20
I went to see Rob for a modification for my child custody agreement to relocate, I can honestly say that working with... Rob and Christine has been the best experience. I cannot recommend them enough I only wish I had seen them sooner. They are prompt with communication, and they are honest which I appreciate so much. They do not give you fake promises and they do their best to fight for what you want which they do amazingly well! You can tell they are passionate about what they do and care about their clients. A very important aspect of lawyer client relationship for me is an open line of communication, the anxiety of the unknown always gets the best of us. The fact they were always available whether it be phone call or email to answer any question was extremely comforting and exactly what I needed. I am not well versed with laws and regulation so knowing I had Rob and his partners there when I was unsure or conflicted was extremely needed and greatly appreciated.When it comes to family court it's never easy but having Rob and his partner by my side I felt extremely comfortable and he helped me have realistic expectations. Please TRUST HIM!! If you're looking for a lawyer (at least for my end from child custody/Family Court) don't look any further you will not be disappointed. I hope to never have to use them again but in the event I have to, they are going to be my forever first call.read more
A Google User
A Google User
15:42 16 Sep 20
I hired Robert to handle a child custody and child support matter. He was prompt and professional and was able to... achieve a result that 3 prior attorneys could not. He and his staff made a stressful situation easy. I highly recommend his office.read more
Ann Masten
Ann Masten
17:48 12 May 20
I am a paralegal in an unrelated field of law. I phoned Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today intending to refer a client... to their office. Instead (and despite that we are the midst of the present crisis), Mr. Hornberger himself graciously accommodated my questions over the telephone, and was generous with his time and adroit in his response, saving our client a small fortune in unnecessary legal fees. I have not had any similar experience, in which counsel was so generous with his expertise, in 22+ years of interacting with prominent, local attorneys, and the client is overjoyed. Based on this experience, I would now whole -heartedly recommend this firm as trusted professionals to any client requiring a firm expert in family law and related legal issues.read more
Everett Roberts
Everett Roberts
14:30 18 Mar 20
Going through a divorce was very challenging and emotional. Searching for an attorney can be challenging as well when... you consider everything that is at stake. The choice I made to work with Rob Hornberger was surely the best choice available. His professionalism, expertise, and understanding made him and the entire team perfectly suited to achieve the outcomes I desired. Rob was always available to answer my questions and give me advice and legal considerations that affected my situation. The support I received from his staff was exemplary as well. The staff was courteous, kind, and also very professional. Thank you so much Rob and team for a worry free experience.read more
Annemarie Cusumano
Annemarie Cusumano
21:41 17 Mar 20
Being in family court especially when your children are on the line is extremely emotional and stressful but working... with Robert and Christine put me at ease and made the process as pleasant as a situation like that can be. I have a now 3 year old daughter (who is the most important person in my life) and I've been working with them for over two years since my daughter was 7 months old, the case has been up and down and through it all Rob and Christine have never given up. My original case was due to a neglect charge. Cps is not easy to work with, but Rob and Christine were vigilant and I ended up getting my daughter back within 8 months and did not have to plead guilty to the neglect. Currently I am in family court to figure out a custody agreement. They are professional, empathetic, and patient. They have always explained everything thoroughly, informed me of all my options and advised me of what my best option would be. They always respond quickly when I contact them with questions or concerns and most importantly they fight for me in court and don't give up even when things get rough. Before hiring Rob and Christine I met with other attorneys who did not make me feel confident or comfortable at all about my case, so I am very grateful to have found Rob and Christine and to be represented by such great attorneys. I highly recommend them for any family court matters and will definitely continue to use them in the future if needed.read more
Randi Gottlieb
Randi Gottlieb
18:47 03 Mar 20
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. - Mr. Robert Hornberger and his staff are beyond professional, they quickly gave me my... consultation appointment, and helped me with an after-Divorce issue. Mr. Hornberger was empathetic and explained to me what I should expect. Mr. Hornberger was extremely professional and advised me of my options, he helped me proceed with accurate and smart decisions. I wish I had Mr. Hornberger and his highly recommended staff when I was getting divorced. I would highly recommend Robert and his staff to anyone who is getting a divorce or in need of help with situations after the divorce!read more
Rob Spielmann
Rob Spielmann
22:15 27 Feb 20
They made our process so easy. They were there to answer and help with any questions that came up. Very friendly
Ashley Hubner
Ashley Hubner
20:30 14 Feb 20
Navigating my divorce was a challenging experience to say the least, but I was supported and guided every step of the... way by my attorney, Robert. With the daunting task of hiring a divorce lawyer, I knew I would need someone with the right combination of knowledge, compassion and integrity. Robert has a strong background in family law, sincere character and direct communication to be superior to the others. He and his staff were professional and caring. I always felt I was in good hands. I highly recommend the Law Offices Hornberger and Verbitsky for the legal expertise, compassion and understanding of the many complex facets associated with divorce.read more
Thomas Livingston
Thomas Livingston
21:31 26 Jan 20
Robert and Christine are the epitome of professionalism. They helped us with the purchase of our new home. They were... efficient, dedicated, and focused on making our closing as seamless as possible.read more
Sheila Vasata
Sheila Vasata
23:35 14 Jan 20
Robert Hornberger has been a friend of mine and my family for years. He has helped us all in ways that are too... numerable to mention. I went through a divorce that I don’t think I could’ve done if I didn’t have Robert by my side. He is vivacious, motivated, knowledgeable, and has an extreme desire to succeed and excel...and he does! He goes over and above for all of his clientele. I would recommend his law firm to anybody who is looking for a Great Lawyer with integrity!read more
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