Adultery and Your Divorce (Adultery is Still A Crime in New York State)

New York is now a “no-fault” divorce State. This means, that you do not have to demonstrate fault in order to get divorced. This also means, that in a divorce, the Court is not concerned with why you are getting divorced, they are only concerned with the issues of the divorce (e.g., child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, distribution of assets, etc.).

However, some clients want the Court to find that their spouse committed adultery and want to punish their spouse for their actions. Although you can still add adultery as one of the reasons why you want to get divorced (called a “cause of action”), virtually every Judge will want to handle the divorce without deciding adultery. It is extremely difficult to prove your spouse committed adultery. Adding adultery as a cause of action will increase the time to get divorced and also add the amount of money you need to spend to get divorced. Accordingly, it is extremely rare to add adultery as one of the reasons why you are seeking a divorce.

Yet, despite the fact that the divorce court will not consider adultery as one of the reasons why you are getting a divorce, adultery is still a crime in New York State. Adultery is classified as a Class B misdemeanor. This means that technically you could go to jail for up to 90 days and pay a fine.

However, it is extremely rare for anyone to be arrested just for adultery. Indeed, since 1972, only 13 persons have been charged with adultery. Of those 13 persons, only five actually were convicted of the crime. In virtually every one of those cases, there was some other crime that was committed and the prosecuting attorney added adultery as just one of many crimes committed.

Therefore, although adultery is still technically a crime, there is extremely little chance that you will be prosecuted for the crime. Furthermore, in a divorce, whether or not you or your spouse committed adultery will not be the basis of your divorce.

If you live in Long Island and need an attorney, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips, and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.

Is It Considered Abandonment If I Leave The Marital Home?

There is a misconception concerning “abandonment” or leaving the marital home. Prior to 2010, New York State required divorcing couples to establish “fault” in order to get divorced. One of the grounds was abandonment. One way to show abandonment was to establish that one spouse left the house for a period of one year or more.

However, since, 2010, New York State is now a “no fault” divorce state. Therefore, divorcing spouses do not have to establish any fault, and can simply file for divorce without any grounds. Accordingly, since 2010, virtually every new divorce is filed using the no fault statute, and very few divorces are filed under the old basis of abandonment.

Although, leaving the marital home will no longer be used as a legal basis for a divorce, it still may have some negative consequences. If there are children involved, leaving the home may hurt your ability to gain custody of the children. It is often better to stay in the marital home, until you can discuss, with your attorney, strategies on how you can leave the home without injuring your ability to gain custody.

Even in situations without children, it may not be a good idea to leave the marital home. If you establish another residence, outside the marital home, and you are paying the expenses (mortgage, rent, etc.) for both the marital home and your other residence, that may work against you when computing spousal maintenance (alimony).

Therefore, although leaving the marital home, will not be considered “abandonment”, at least in the legal sense, you should consult with an attorney prior to leaving the home.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. can help you with your divorce and other family law issues. Please call or contact David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office, P.C. has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and in Uniondale, Nassau County.

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Over 50? Why Many In Your Age Bracket Are Seeking Divorce

According to a recent New York Times article, more men and women over the age of 50 are getting divorced than ever before. Even as the divorce rate for other age groups remains steady or declines, these ‘silver’ or ‘gray’ divorces are on the rise, and for those over the age of 65, the rate is even higher. There are several reasons for this increase. First, those other the age of 50 are often in second marriages and face more financial hardships and the stress of blended families. Second, people are living longer, and are more selective about with whom they spend their time. And third, becoming separated no longer holds the stigma it once did, making it more socially acceptable to be divorced.

Also, it seems women are more likely to leave the marriage than men; men would prefer to stay in a so-so marriage so as not to rock the boat. Women are now more empowered, liberated, and able to get what they want. They are taking the risk to break up the marriage to find love or be content on their own. Women are realizing that staying together for the kids, especially when these kids are older and have left home, is no longer satisfactory. Despite the financial uncertainty that may follow a divorce, divorced women can spend time exploring their interests and newly found freedom.

According to David Badanes, a renowned divorce attorney on Long Island, there has indeed been an increase in married couples over 50 looking for a divorce. He finds that this can be attributed to no-fault divorces making it easier for either spouse in a long marriage to obtain a divorce. Additionally, for married couples whose children are grown, the divorce will only involve financial issues such as how to divide the marital assets and alimony (spousal maintenance). Ultimately, divorce mediation may be a good alternative for some older spouses facing a contested divorce.

For more information on silver divorces, please see:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/31/your-money/after-full-lives-together-more-older-couples-are-divorcing.html?_r=1#story-continues-5