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What is a defense to a cause of action for abandonment in a New York divorce?

Constructive abandonment: If the refusal to engage in sexual relationships is justified in light of inappropriate conduct by the allegedly abandoned spouse, that spouse has no cause of action for a divorce on the ground of constructive abandonment.

In cases involving a lock-out or leaving of the marital residence, the defendant has a defense if the absence or lock-out was justified or that there is a lack of continuous abandonment.  See Schine v Schine, 31 NY2d 113; Del Galdo v De Galdo, 51 AD2d 741.  Generally, an un-rescinded and valid separation agreement or a valid separation decree is a defense to cause of action on abandonment. See Butt v Butt, 50 AD2d 584 (2d Dept 1975).

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