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Divorcing Couples May Have Option to Forgo Airing Dirty Laundry


New York State Legislature Adopts "No-Fault" Divorce: 

For Decades, New York State was the only state that failed to adopt provisions allowing no-fault divorce.  As a result, one party in all divorce actions is required to establish fault grounds, such as adultery or cruelty, to end a marriage. Section 170 of the Domestic Relations Law was amended to remove this requirement and is expected to be signed into law by the Governor who received the New Legislation on August 3, 2010.  The Law would add subdivision 7 allowing divorce when a marriage is irretrievably broken for a period of at least six months, provided that one party has so stated under oath.

The Judgment of Divorce can only be granted after the following ancillary issues have been resolved:  the equitable distribution of marital property, the payment or waiver of spousal support, the payment of child support, the payment of counsel and expert fees and expenses, and custody and visitation with the infant children of the marriage.

If signed into law as expected, the law will become effective on the 16th day after the Governor's signature and will only apply to divorce actions commenced after that date, unless your attorney rescinds your claim and re-files.