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Grounds for Divorce in New York: Adultery

In New York, like in a lot of other states in the U.S., if you want to divorce your spouse, then you will have to show that you have a legally recognized reason for doing so. In New York, there are seven legally valid reasons for a divorce. One of these seven grounds for divorce is that your spouse has committed adultery during the marriage.

What is Adultery?

Adultery is a voluntary sexual act, committed by someone who is married with someone that they are not married to. Under New York’s divorce laws, a voluntary sexual act that amounts to adultery is any kind of sexual intercourse, including oral or anal sex. However, if your spouse’s conduct does not arise to this level of sexual intercourse, it is not adultery for the purposes of a divorce.

Proving Adultery

Proving adultery is often the most difficult aspect of a divorce on the grounds of adultery. This is because cheating spouses are often very careful about hiding their actions, and do everything that they can to make sure no one finds out that they are having an affair.

Because of the difficulties in proving that your spouse committed adultery during your marriage, courts allow circumstantial evidence of this fact, in addition to direct evidence. This allows you to prove adultery by showing that your spouse had the disposition and the opportunity to commit a sexual act outside of the marriage. A disposition can be shown through public displays of affection between your spouse and his or her paramour, such as kissing. Once you have shown that your spouse had the disposition to commit adultery, you can show that he or she had the opportunity by proving that they were alone with their paramour for long enough to commit a sexual act that constitutes adultery.

During the Marriage

Another important aspect of a divorce on the grounds of adultery is that adultery can be committed during a divorce proceeding. Even though a divorce has already been filed, if it has not become finalized, then you and your spouse are still married. Adultery is any sexual intercourse by a married individual that is done outside of his or her marriage.

Divorce Attorneys at the Bombardo Law Office, P.C.

At the Bombardo Law Office, P.C., we deal exclusively with issues relating to family law, including divorces of all sorts. If you suspect your spouse of committing adultery and are interested in a divorce, contact us at (315) 488-5544 or online.

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