August 2010 Archives

August 30, 2010

New York Joins the Modern World with No-Fault Divorce

After years as the last holdout for mandatory fault divorce, New York finally has a no-fault divorce law. Governor David Paterson signed the new law on August 15, bringing New York in line with the rest of the 50 states in allowing married couples to divorce without one spouse having to take the blame.

A no-fault divorce means that spouses can end their marriage by mutual consent--or allows one spouse to proceed with the divorce whether the other spouse agrees or not, but without having to accuse the other spouse of cruelty, adultery, abandonment, or imprisonment. The old fault rules meant that even spouses who both wanted a divorce, and who could otherwise proceed amicably, had to lie in court about one or the other committing these bad acts.

The new law takes effect September 1, 2010.