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Examining the Calls for a No-Fault Divorce Law in New York


New York divorce law currently does not have a no-fault statute that would essentially allow people to cite irreconcilable differences when filing for divorce and get the divorce process over in a much quicker amount of time.

Current New York divorce law can actually get quite complicated as it requires one member of a couple to pit the blame on the other party based on one of several "fault" grounds. As one example, a New York man recently filed for a divorce from his wife on the grounds of constructive abandonment, or that she refused to have sex with him for a year.

A Nassau judge originally refused to rule on this divorce case and cited the need for New York to adopt a no-fault divorce law. That judge later dismissed a pending New York divorce case while further championing the need for a no-fault divorce law.

Current New York divorce law has been criticized by people who feel that it is outdated and inefficient. For example, they have argued how New York divorce law often produces longer divorces, especially when people are unable to file on any of these "fault" grounds. New York divorce law requires wannabe divorcees to agree to a separation agreement and live apart for one year if they are unable to at least pit fault on one of the parties involved.

With this controversy about the divorce law in New York in mind, the State Assembly recently approved legislation that would at least address some of current problems with getting divorced in the state. Specifically, a proposed New York divorce law would shorten the divorce waiting period from one year to three months for people with formal separation agreements.

While this legislation would seem to be a step in the right direction, proponents of a no-fault divorce law are not so sure. A recent Newsday story cited one man's worries that this legislation would hurt the political movement for a no-fault divorce law in New York.

Even the sponsor of this bill seemed less than certain that this legislation would help nip the current New York divorce law controversy. Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein of Brooklyn described this proposed New York divorce law as being "a small step in the right direction." This New York divorce legislation would also require judges to take into account a spouse's loss of health insurance when coming to determinations on property division and alimony.

The Newsday story added how a similar proposed New York divorce law was in the state Senate and how its fate was not yet certain.

What's New York without Some Sort of Controversy!

Ultimately, this controversy about a no-fault divorce law in New York is a great example of the importance of knowing the divorce laws in your state. Legislators have been working hard to bolster laws to curb divorce, and filing for divorce may not be as easy as it used to be.

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