Brooklyn, NY – New York was the last state to adopt no fault divorce rules into its state statutes in 2010. This was significant for people who would need to separate, as court proceedings under fault based rules tended to be much longer and much more costly. This had the added benefit of making divorces more accessible to all social classes, even if they did not have a significant amount of money to invest in legal services from a family lawyer. Under prior fault based grounds in New York, couples would have to live apart for at least a year and prove either adultery, abandonment, imprisonment, or other serious grounds to end the marriage. 

What is a no fault divorce in New York today?

The reasoning behind no fault divorce laws is to expedite the process to end a marriage. One or both spouses can simply say they do not wish to be married anymore, and as long as residency and other basic procedural requirements are met, a judge can formally order the marriage to be dissolved. The reasons for ending the marriage are generally not important, or a legal issue that the courts need to examine. There is also the possibility of a conversion divorce in New York, which is essentially a type of no fault divorce, where couples could complete the terms of a conversion contract to formally end the marriage once a judge reviews the agreement. As a general rule, when a couple can agree on most issues related to the divorce and little is contested, then the divorce will end more quickly. 

There are still some requirements to bring a no fault divorce case and have it completed by a judge in the state. When filing, at least one of the spouses must show that there is an irretrievable breakdown for at least six months. The couple could have also been living apart for at least a year after being legally separated, or they could have lived apart for a year based on the terms of a separation agreement. 

There are also requirements related to residency, jurisdiction of the courts, and proper venue. If the marriage occurred in New York and at least one spouse has lived in the state for a year or more before filing, then the action can be brought in New York. If both spouses have lived in the state as a couple for at least one year prior to bringing the action, then they will meet the residency requirements. 

Learning more about no fault divorces and related issues

People who are experiencing family law issues have the option of consulting with an experienced lawyer in the Brooklyn area. Elliot Green Law Offices is a firm that has assisted local clients with their problems and provided solutions. 

Firm contact info

Elliot Green Law Offices

32 Court Street, Suite 404, Brooklyn, NY, 11201


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