Jeffrey Molinari (plaintiff) filed a petition for divorce from his wife, Paula Molinari (defendant), in the Supreme Court of New York. At the time, New York was the only state in the United States that did not provide for no-fault divorces. Jeffrey alleged constructive abandonment as the ground for divorce and struggled to persuade the trial judge that all efforts had been made with Paula to resume cohabitation. There was no written separation agreement between the parties. As is customary with fault-based divorce schemes, the parties argued about the circumstances surrounding Jeffrey's departure from the home.