Protecting What Matters Most

Understanding contested divorces in New York

On Behalf of | May 4, 2021 | High Asset Divorce

When significant wealth and assets are at stake in a divorce, it complicates the entire process. Often spouses cannot reach an agreement on critical divorce and family issues like child custody, property division and support.

In many cases, this ongoing disagreement leads to a contested divorce. When this happens, the party filing for divorce may need to establish fault grounds upon which to proceed. Essentially, this means showing a family court why you deserve to divorce your spouse.

What are the fault grounds for a New York divorce?

If you and your spouse cannot proceed with an uncontested (no-fault) divorce, you can choose one of the following grounds upon which to file.

  • Adultery
  • Inhumane or cruel treatment
  • Continuous abandonment for no less than one year
  • Spouse incarceration for at least three years
  • Lived apart for longer than one year

In a high-asset divorce, many spouses continue to disagree, especially about how to divide marital property. Although reaching an agreement typically means a faster and less complicated divorce, it can be hard for couples with high-value assets.

Can your spouse fight a fault divorce?

It is certainly possible for the at-fault spouse to fight a fault-based divorce. For example, say you file a divorce based on adultery. Your spouse can defend against this by claiming you also cheated or that you forgave them for the transgression. It will be up to the court to decide how to proceed with your case.

High-asset divorces benefit from attorney representation in nearly all cases. Lawyer advocacy can protect your share of the marital property and preserve your child custody rights.


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