There are several grounds for divorce in New York State, the most recent of which is “No Fault” which was added in 2010.
- Cruel and inhuman treatment;
- Abandonment for at least one year;
- Imprisonment for three or more years;
- Living apart pursuant to a judicial separation for one year or more;
- Living apart pursuant to a written separation agreement for one year or more;
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for at least six months.
When the defendant is served but does not answer the legal pleadings the plaintiff may seek a default judgment by application to the court. If the divorce is started with a Summons with Notice then the grounds will either have to be proven by plaintiff’s affidavit or to be granted by default. Uncontested divorces are also granted after the defendant appears and waives the right to answer the complaint. In these cases where the defendant neither admits nor denies the plaintiff’s allegations, it is up to the plaintiff to prove the allegations by testimony or affidavit.