New York Opens the Door to No-Fault Divorce
Author: Long Island Divorce Solutions
On August 15, 2010, New York Governor David Patterson signed no-fault divorce into law in New York. For courts, judges, lawyers, and spouses this was long awaited legislation. While California (in practice) was the first state to implement no-fault divorce in 1969, New York was the last state in the union to make no-fault divorce a legal option for its residents.
The albatross inherent in a grounds trial
The evidence gathering, case preparation, court delays, and complexities of proving a spouse’s wrongdoing made divorce more tedious than necessary for couples who simply did not get along and wanted to end their marriage. Fault grounds also tended to worsen conflicts and embitter spouses.
Bloomberg quoted Nassau County, Long Island supervising judge, Robert Ross as saying, “there is a human cost and a financial cost to a system demanding fault-finding…It’s hard to know what impact a new law will have, but we do know that a grounds trial, and the expense and delay associated with it, is not a good thing.”
In certain instances, spouses manufactured false claims to establish divorce grounds, which often meant proving the false existence of adultery, cruelty, or abandonment. Prior to the passage of no-fault divorce, couples had to remain separated for at least a year before they could file for conversion to divorce based on separation. Many couples did not want to wait that long.
Avoiding courtroom trials—period
Contested matters can still end up in court. However, couples who use Long Island divorce mediation or collaborative law to settle disputes can keep their cases out of court altogether.