New York State No Fault Divorce Law passes Assembly

On 08.07.10, In Law Changes, by Daniel Callahan

July 1, 2010

New York State joins the rest of the United States by finally passing a “No-Fault” Divorce law.  The New York State Senate voted 32 to 29 along party lines to pass legislation for a no fault divorce law in the State on June 16, 2010.  Joining the Senate the New York State Assembly followed suit.  The Assembly Democrats picked up some Republican votes for a 113 to 19 vote.  Governor David Patterson is expected to sign the Bill as early as the up coming week.  The Bill includes a unilateral provision allowing a one party divorce.  It also has a “maintenance” or an “alimony” provision and a legal fee provision to ensure that the lesser earning spouse can retain adequate counsel.

The current law for divorce allows couples to file for divorce only on the grounds of cruelty, adultery, abandonment or getting sent to prison for at least three years.  There is also a provision that can grant a divorce one year after a couple files a legal separation agreement when both sides consent.

The new law will require a spouse to swear under oath that the relationship has broken down irretrievably for a minimum of six months.  Property division, alimony, child custody and support must be resolved prior to the divorce finalization.