In 2010, New York became the last state in the country to permit “no fault” divorce. A no fault divorce in New York is one that does not require the parties to allege some fault as grounds for the divorce. Before 2010, New Yorkers seeking a divorce were required to allege one of several grounds for the divorce, which were specifically enumerated in the statute, and which involved an allegation that one party was at fault.

When one party alleged a specific ground for divorce, such as adultery or abandonment, the court was obliged to hear from other party, before making findings and deciding whether to grant or deny a divorce. This process was often acrimonious, and could involve protracted legal proceedings in order to arrive at some resolution.

What the No Fault Divorce in New York Means

Proponents of no-fault divorce in New York sought to reduce the expense and judicial involvement in divorce proceedings and to streamline the process for couples who sought a divorce. The new law adds a seventh ground for divorce, which does not require the parties to allege fault, but instead merely calls for one party to swear under oath that the marital relationship has broken down “irretrievably” for a period of at least six months.

Once one party has sworn that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” the parties must resolve all ancillary issues relating to finances, and custody and visitation of children, and then have this agreement incorporated into a judgment of divorce.

Confusion Regarding the No-Fault Law in New York

Despite the intent of the 2010 statute to simplify and streamline divorce proceedings in New York, there remains some confusion about how the law should operate. Some judges have found that the statute is ambiguous in the sense that it still requires the court to find that a marriage has been “irretrievably broken” under the no fault provision, and this factual determination might still require a hearing, or even a trial, so that both parties can be heard on the issue and the court can make the necessary factual findings. Other judges have found a hearing unnecessary, and are inclined to grant the divorce once one party has made the allegation under oath and the ancillary financial and custody issues have been addressed.

Contact an Divorce Attorney in Brooklyn NY for Help

No matter the reason for separating, going through a divorce can be an extremely difficult time, especially without quality legal representation. If you are going through a no fault divorce in New York, contact an experienced divorce attorney in Brooklyn NY today. The attorneys at Alatsas Law Firm have the skill and experience to aggressively protect your interests in a New York divorce proceeding. Contact the skilled attorneys at Alatsas Law Firm today, at (718)-233-2903.

Ted Alatsas
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Trusted Brooklyn, New York Family Law Attorney helping NY residents with Elder Law and Asset Protection
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