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What is considered abandonment in a New York marriage?

New York Domestic Relations Law section 170(2) provides that the abandonment of the plaintiff by the defendant for a period of one or more years abandonment may occur in any one of three ways:

  1. the defendant spouse left the marital home; or
  2. the defendant spouse locked the plaintiff out of the marital residence; or
  3. constructive abandonment.

To establish a cause of action for a divorce on the ground of constructive abandonment within the meaning of Domestic Relations Law section 170 (2), the spouse who claims to have been constructively abandoned must prove that the abandoning spouse unjustifiably refused to fulfill the basic obligations arising from the marriage contract and that the abandonment continued for at least one year.  The refusal must be unjustified, willful, and continued despite repeated requests for continued conjugal relations.  See Schine v Schine, 31 NY2d 113 (1972); Del Galdo v De Galdo, 51 AD2d 741, 379(2d Dept 1976).  The defendant's spouse must not have suffered from an impairment or disability that prevented the defendant from engaging in sexual relations.

Bronx divorce lawyer Bryan J. Hutchinson will fight for your right to child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and equitable distribution of property. We zealously represent divorce and family law clients for over 20 years in New York State Courts in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Westchester, and Nassau Counties. Call the Law Office of Bryan J. Hutchinson, PLLC at (718) 671-0900 for a confidential consultation.

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