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No Fault Divorce in New York

On August 13, 2010 Governor Patterson signed into law New York's new No Fault divorce law to be effective on October 12, 2010.

The new law allows a judgment of divorce to be granted to either party in a divorce action without assigning fault to the other party once all the major ancillary issues have been resloved.

A divorce under the new No Fault law allows for a divorce when a marriage is irretrievably broken for a periord of at least six months provided that one party has stated so under oath.Before the Courts will allow a No Fault divorce all ancillary issues regarding the marriage must be resloved. Ancillary issues include the following; equitable distribution of marital property, the payment or waiver of spousal suport, the payment of child support, the payment of counsel and expert fees, custody and visitation of the children of the marriage.

New York State has always been a "grounds" state where a party seeking a divorce has to alledge a ground such as; cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery, abandonment or confimement of the defendant in prison, living seperate and apart pursuant to a seperation agreement for at least one year. However, many parties want a divorce for a vaild reason but do not fit into the above grounds. This forced parties to invent false justifications to legally dissolve the marriage. This would prolong the divorce process and adds additional stress to an already difficult situation.

It is also the intent of the legislation to grant full recognition and respect to valid marriages of same-sex couples to obtain relief under New York Law and in New York Courts.

This is clearly a major change to the divorce law in New York State. If you have any questions about No Fault divorce and/or divorce in general call Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP to speak with one of our attorneys.

We are also available by E-Mail.