No-Fault Ground Makes Uncontested Divorce in NY Much Simpler
by Seth Azria on 12/26/2018
On August 16, 2010, New York State finally joined every other state in the nation by enacting a no-fault divorce law effective October 14, 2010. With this new law, a judge may grant a divorce when a marriage has been “irretrievably broken” for a period of more than 6 months as established by the sworn statement of only one party.
Previously, a husband or wife, faced with an uncooperative spouse, could only obtain a divorce in New York if he or she could prove fault-based grounds such as cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, or adultery. These restrictions no longer apply under the no-fault law.
The highlights of the New York no-fault law are:
- A divorce may be granted when the relationship between a husband and wife “has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six (6) months.”
- In order to commence an action for divorce under the new no-fault law, the parties must have been married for at least six (6) months.
- Proof that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” is supplied merely by one party stating so under oath (this statement is included in the Plaintiff’s affidavit).
- The court may not grant a judgment of divorce, however, until all the economic issues of the divorce, and all issues involving any children, are resolved by the parties (through a stipulation or separation agreement) or determined by the court.
- The new law became effective October 14, 2010.