Tuesday, August 17, 2010


New York is officially the last state in the United States of America to adopt No-Fault Divorce Law. As of Sunday, when the governor passed a No-Fault Divorce option, spouses are allowed to terminate their marriages within six months of stating under oath that their unions are “irretrievably” broken.

The new law will take effect on October 12, 2010, bringing New York’s divorce law into the 21st century, as Governor Patterson put it.

Due to the opposition of certain organizations, churches and politicians arguing that certain wives, especially those in long-standing marriages in which they did not work or have other significant outside sources of income, would be at a disadvantage during divorce proceedings when facing spouses with more resources to procure better legal help. Even though it is not clear how the situation of one spouse being able to procure better legal help was any different when there was no “No-Fault” divorce in New York, some backers said that they could not endorse the concept without the concurrent passage of a bill setting standards for temporary maintenance for non-monied spouses.

As a result of these arguments, a bill was also signed into law, which stipulates that judges are to consider a host of factors when setting maintenance levels, from the years a couple was together to the life style to which they had become accustomed and the spouses' prospects of employment. Judges also will be allowed to consider factors they regard as relevant that are not mentioned in the new law.

The Governor also signed a third bill that would require judges to grant interim counsel fees to non-monied spouses, in order to get more resources into the hands of spouses who need them at earlier stages of divorce proceedings.

So, it shall remain to be seen if the two bills will be passed, but for now it is certain that as of October 12, 2010, New York will officially become a No-Fault Divorce state.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to join the discussion!
Until Next Time,

Helen M. Dukhan, Esq., LL.M. @ www.Dukhanlaw.com

1 comment:

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