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What to do if Your Marriage Does not Work

Few situations are as stressful as a family breakup. Everyone involved needs as much sympathy and support as friends and family can muster. Often spouses feel that a separation to give the parties time to think about future action whether to move forward with a divorce or to seek counseling or reconciliation is an effective way to deal with marital difficulties.

A legal separation can be accomplished by both the husband and wife entering into a written Separation Agreement which provides that the parties live separately while they remain married. This agreement also deals with financial issues, child support, spousal maintenance, division of property (known as equitable distribution in the State of New York) and other matters of importance to the parties. A Separation Agreement is handled out of court.

Grounds for Divorce in New York State

  • Cruel and Inhuman Treatment - This involves either mental cruelty or physical cruelty.
  • Adultery - Sexual relations with an individual other than one's spouse.
  • Imprisonment - Imprisonment of one of the parties to the marriage for a period of three (3) years or more.
  • Abandonment - When a party removes himself or herself from the marital home for a period of one year or either of the parties refuses to have sexual relations with the other party for a period of one year (constructive abandonment).
  • No Fault Ground - The parties are living apart pursuant to a valid Separation Agreement for a period of one year.

In the event you have marital difficulties it is important to get legal advice early. We understand the turmoil and emotional distress caused by marital difficulties and we are very sensitive to the problems faced by families in these situations.

Child Support

Should you feel you are entitled to child support or if you are in the position where legal action has been taken against you in the Family Court to obtain child support, it is essential that you consult with an attorney regarding your legal rights and responsibilities. Feel free to call us should you have any questions regarding matrimonial or Family Court matters.


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The New York court awards alimony after considering the spouses' financial situation, earning capacity, income, and the circumstances of the marriage. For example, if one spouse stayed home to care for the household while the other spouse supported the household, then the court generally requires the working spouse to continue supporting the other spouse. Alimony ends when the spouses agree, one spouse dies, or the receiving spouse remarries.
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