August 16, 2010

New York last state in the country to finally add a no-fault divorce provision

By Jill Gross

In a development likely to reduce the number of matrimonial disputes going through acrimonious litigation in New York, Governor David Patterson finally signed into law yesterday an amendment to New York’s domestic relations law adding “irreconcilable differences” as a valid ground for divorce.  New York was the only state remaining in the country to require proof of fault before a court would grant a divorce.  This led to parties inventing false justifications for divorce, and lengthy court battles over the parties’ conduct during the marriage.  This revision should also boost the practice of collaborative law, as parties no longer need to “take grounds,” or admit to conduct such as cruelty or abandonment as part of the process of dividing assets.  Welcome to the 21st century, New York!

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