Coming to the realization that a relationship and bond is at the point of no repair is always a difficult decision. Thanks to recent changes in New York State divorce law, no-fault divorce may be an option available to you. At The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick, P.C. we are able to provide you with the information that you need to determine if no-fault divorce is the best option for you.
In October of 2010, New York State passed legislation allowing individuals to file for no-fault divorce. This option has drastically changed the grounds for obtaining a divorce in the State of New York. The goal of this law is to help ease the burden and stress that is often endured during the painful process of divorce. Prior to the enactment of this new law, a divorce could only be granted based upon one of the following fault-based grounds:
- Cruel and inhuman treatment
- Living apart for one (1) year pursuant to a separation agreement or judgment of separation
Now under this new law, pursuant to Domestic Relations Law 170(7), New York State permits a divorce to be granted based on the fact that the marital relationship “irretrievably broke down” for a period of at least six (6) months immediately prior to the commencement of the action for divorce. An individual can now commence a divorce action solely based upon the fact that the relationship between the couple has broken down irretrievably rendering it improper for the parties to remain as husband and wife.
This also means that as of October of 2010, New York State does not necessarily require one party to be deemed “at fault” for the termination of the marriage, and the fault-based grounds listed above are not the only grounds available for an individual looking to end a marriage and file for divorce. A no-fault divorce is an easy solution to grounds for divorce which enables a person to commence an action for divorce without having to accuse their spouse of adultery, abandonment, imprisonment, or cruelty; and sparing the individual the unnecessary embarrassment and emotional strain often associated with having to prove grounds.
Although under the new law a spouse can file for a no-fault divorce, there are other factors that must be taken into consideration and resolved respectively in each case. It should be noted that no two divorce cases are the same, and each case must be handled accordingly and pursuant to their circumstances. Issues regarding the distribution of all marital assets and debts must be resolved; and if there are children involved, custody, visitation, and child support must be settled prior to obtaining a final divorce.
At the same time the no-fault divorce law was passed, legislation also passed laws affecting spousal maintenance, child support, and the payment of counsel fees. These new laws drastically influence how matrimonial/divorce cases are litigated in courts throughout New York State.