In 2010, New York became the last state to allow for a couple to file for a no-fault divorce. Prior to this, a divorce in New York requires grounds, where one spouse had to be proven “at fault” for the failure of the marriage, and lengthy court proceedings at an incredibly high cost to both sides. So how does the shift to no-fault affect your divorce now? The simplification of the divorce process in New York can mean a faster and cheaper option to dissolving your marriage and moving on with your life.
What is No-Fault Divorce
Under New York law, a no-fault divorce can be filed by either spouse upon the assertion that the marriage has been irretrievably broken for at least six months prior to the filing. The other spouse does not have to agree so long as the filing spouse makes the assertion under oath. This eliminates the need to list and prove a grounds for divorce, like was necessary under the old method of proving a spouse “at fault.”
No-fault divorce does still come with certain requirements. First, the couple must be married for at least six months prior to filing. Second, the couple must meet the residency requirements to file in New York. Third, a final judgment will only be granted after all marital issues are settled. This includes issues of alimony, child custody, child visitation, child support, counsel and expert fees, and the equitable distribution of all marital assets. However, once these issues are agreed upon by both spouses, a no-fault divorce can be handled in a matter of weeks, as opposed to the months or even years of litigation under the old system. An experienced New York divorce attorney may even be able to help you file a no-fault divorce that requires no court appearances or firm visits if the divorce is uncontested by both spouses.
New York also provides for temporary spousal support while a divorce action is pending. If you believe that you will be required to pay your spouse alimony while the divorce is proceeding, filing a no-fault divorce could speed up the process and eliminate lengthy spousal support payments to your significant other.
It is important to note that the no-fault divorce system did not eliminate grounds for divorce in New York. A spouse can still file under fault-based grounds for cruel and inhumane treatment, abandonment, imprisonment, adultery, and living apart for more than one year. However, unlike the simple no-fault divorce, by listing grounds the spouse that files must then prove the other spouse at-fault, which can take considerable time and money.
Call Our Divorce Attorneys Today
No-fault grounds have revolutionized divorce proceedings in New York, and by filing for a no-fault divorce you can save a significant amount of time and money dissolving your marriage. If you have questions about no-fault divorce or how it differs from a contested or uncontested divorce, our experienced New York City divorce attorneys are here to help. Call the office or contact us today at The Mandel Law Firm to discuss your no-fault divorce proceedings now.