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Cruel and Inhuman Treatment as Grounds for Divorce in New York

As a result of several prominent cases involving NFL athletes, domestic violence has been all over the news in recent weeks. Although the focus of much of this reporting has been on the male-on-female violence that constitutes the largest percentage of cases, it’s worth remembering that domestic violence can occur in any intimate relationship, regardless of sex, gender identity or sexual orientation.

In New York, domestic violence falls under the umbrella of “cruel and inhuman treatment,” and such treatment, especially as part of a pattern established over time, may provide sufficient grounds for divorce. Other types of cruel and inhuman treatment include frequent verbal abuse, sexual abuse, public infidelity, the threatening of children and mental abuse.

Due to the private nature of cruel and inhuman treatment, such matters can be difficult to prove in the context of divorce proceedings. Physical abuse may be the easiest to prove, such as by photographic evidence, medical records or the in-person appearance of the victim. Being able to establish a pattern of abuse over time by using a range of evidence often works in a victim’s favor. Proving the existence of other types of cruel and inhuman treatment is more challenging, but keeping a written record of abuse and enlisting the help of any witnesses is very helpful.

If you are considering or wish to pursue a divorce on the grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment, including domestic violence, you should consult an experienced divorce lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options. Work with the dedicated family law attorneys at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP right away. We serve clients in and around Suffolk and Nassau counties in Long Island, NY.

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