What are the grounds for divorce in Buffalo, NY?

Divorce is a life-altering decision that can significantly impact individuals and families. In Buffalo, New York, the process of ending a marriage involves legal requirements that must be met before a divorce can be granted. Cole, Sorrentino, Hurley, Hewner & Gambino, P.C. is here to provide you with an in-depth understanding of the grounds for divorce in Buffalo, NY, and the essential requirements to navigate this challenging journey.

Grounds for Divorce in Buffalo, NYWhat are the grounds for divorce in Buffalo, NY?

In Buffalo, as in many states, there are both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce. Understanding these grounds is essential for determining the most appropriate course of action in your divorce proceedings.

No-Fault Grounds for Divorce

No-fault divorce has become a prevalent option in many states, including New York. It allows couples to dissolve their marriage without having to prove wrongdoing or assign blame to either spouse. Buffalo, NY, recognizes the following no-fault grounds for divorce:

Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage:

Also known as “irreconcilable differences,” this ground asserts that the marriage has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months before the commencement of the divorce action. This option enables spouses to divorce amicably and peacefully, without the need to air personal grievances in court.


Living apart from your spouse for a continuous period of at least one year pursuant to a separation agreement is another no-fault ground for divorce in Buffalo, NY. This option provides an opportunity for spouses to work on their issues while legally separated before finalizing the divorce.

Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce

While the no-fault grounds offer a less contentious route for divorce, fault-based grounds are still recognized in Buffalo, NY. Proving fault may have implications on property division, alimony, and child custody arrangements. The following are fault-based grounds for divorce in Buffalo:

Cruel and Inhuman Treatment:

Divorce can be granted when one spouse has subjected the other to cruel and inhuman treatment that endangers the physical or mental well-being of the innocent spouse. Evidence of abuse, emotional distress, or domestic violence may be presented to support this claim.


If one spouse has abandoned the other for a continuous period of one year or more, the abandoned spouse may file for divorce based on abandonment grounds. Abandonment implies the willful and intentional departure from the marital home without just cause.


Divorce may be granted if one spouse has been imprisoned for a period of three consecutive years or more after the marriage. The imprisoned spouse’s conduct or crime must have occurred after the marriage took place.


Proving adultery can be challenging, but it remains a fault-based ground for divorce in Buffalo, NY. Evidence of an extramarital affair must be provided to substantiate this claim.

Conversion of Separation Judgment:

If a separation judgment has been in effect for at least one year, either spouse may convert it into a divorce judgment by filing for divorce.

Requirements for Divorce in Buffalo, NY

To initiate a divorce in Buffalo, NY, certain requirements must be met to ensure the process moves forward smoothly. These requirements include:

Residency Requirement:

At least one spouse must have been a resident of New York State for a continuous period of two years immediately preceding the commencement of the divorce action. If both spouses are residents of New York, the residency requirement is reduced to one year.

Proper Venue:

The divorce action must be filed in the county where either spouse currently resides. Choosing the correct venue is vital for ensuring the court has jurisdiction over the case.

Filing Divorce Papers:

To begin the divorce process, the filing spouse, also known as the “plaintiff,” must prepare and submit the necessary divorce papers to the appropriate court. The papers must include a summons and a verified complaint stating the grounds for divorce.

Service of Process:

The plaintiff must serve the divorce papers to the other spouse, known as the “defendant,” in a manner prescribed by law. Proper service ensures that the defendant is aware of the divorce action and has an opportunity to respond.

Waiting Periods:

New York law imposes waiting periods before a divorce can be finalized. In no-fault divorces, the waiting period is six months from the date the divorce papers were served to the defendant. For fault-based divorces, there is no mandatory waiting period.

Navigating a divorce can be a complex and emotionally charged experience, and having a skilled legal team by your side can ease the burden and provide the guidance you need. At Cole, Sorrentino, Hurley, Hewner & Gambino, P.C., our attorneys are well-versed in family law matters and have a deep understanding of the divorce process in Buffalo, NY. Our compassionate approach combined with our extensive legal knowledge allows us to offer tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of each client.

Why Choose Cole, Sorrentino, Hurley, Hewner & Gambino, P.C.?

Experience: Our firm boasts years of experience in handling divorce cases in Buffalo, NY, and the surrounding areas. We have successfully represented numerous clients and guided them through the complexities of divorce proceedings, ensuring they achieve the most favorable outcomes possible.

  • Comprehensive Legal Support: Divorce involves a range of legal matters, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. Our skilled attorneys have expertise in all aspects of family law and can provide comprehensive legal support tailored to your specific circumstances.
  • Personalized Approach: We understand that no two divorces are alike, and each client’s situation requires a personalized approach. Our attorneys take the time to listen to your concerns, understand your goals, and develop a strategy that aligns with your best interests.
  • Mediation and Litigation: While we strive to resolve disputes amicably through negotiation and mediation, we are prepared to litigate aggressively in court if necessary. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and fierce advocates, ready to protect your rights at every turn.
  • Compassionate Support: Divorce is an emotionally charged experience, and we are committed to providing compassionate support to our clients during this challenging time. Our team is here to listen, empathize, and guide you through the legal process with sensitivity and care.
  • Knowledgeable Guidance: The ever-evolving landscape of divorce law can be daunting, but our attorneys stay up-to-date with the latest legal developments, ensuring that you receive accurate and informed advice at all times.

Going through a divorce can be emotionally challenging and legally complex. Cole, Sorrentino, Hurley, Hewner & Gambino, P.C. is committed to providing expert legal guidance and support throughout your divorce journey. Our experienced attorneys understand the intricacies of divorce law in Buffalo, NY, and will work tirelessly to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.

If you are contemplating divorce or facing family law issues, don’t hesitate to reach out for a consultation. Visit our website or call us to schedule a meeting with one of our dedicated attorneys. Let us be your trusted partners during this challenging time and help you navigate the legal process with compassion and experience.

Divorce is undoubtedly one of the most significant decisions individuals may have to make in their lives. Understanding the grounds for divorce in Buffalo, NY, and the essential requirements involved can help streamline the process and minimize potential conflicts. Whether you opt for a no-fault or fault-based divorce, having a knowledgeable and compassionate legal team on your side can make all the difference. At Cole, Sorrentino, Hurley, Hewner & Gambino, P.C., we are here to assist you in every step of your divorce journey and ensure that your rights and interests are protected. Take the first step toward a new beginning by reaching out to us today.

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