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Are You Or Your Spouse At Risk Of Being Prosecuted For Committing Adultery?

Kahn and Richardson - Friday, September 01, 2017
Are You Or Your Spouse At Risk Of Being Prosecuted For Committing Adultery?

New York State Penal Law Section 255.17 entitled “Adultery” states in full as follows: “A person is guilty of adultery when he engages in sexual intercourse with another person at a time when he has a living spouse, or the other person has a living spouse. Adultery is a class B misdemeanor.” Although the misdemeanor of adultery remains in the penal statutes of New York State, it is a law that is rarely enforced. Now, even in an Action for Divorce, it is seldom alleged. 

Since adoption of Domestic Relations Law Section 170(7) the so-called “no fault” ground for divorce in New York State, most divorce litigants opt to proceed on the “no fault” ground, which has no legal defenses. A divorce on that ground will be allowed when the relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months, provided that one party has so stated under oath. The Judgment of Divorce on the ground of “irretrievable breakdown” will not, however, be granted unless and until all ancillary issues of equitable distribution of marital property, spousal support, child support, attorney’s and expert fees, custody and visitation have been resolved by agreement of the parties or by decision of the court. 


Kahn and Richardson provides legal counsel for divorce and matrimonial matters throughout the Albany, NY region. Contact us for a free case evaluation today.

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Practice Areas
  • Divorce
  • Separation Agreements
  • Custody & Visitation
  • Property Division
  • Spousal Maintenance
  • Child Support
  • Prenuptial Agreements

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