In 2010, New York finally joined the rest of the U.S. by becoming the final state to allow no-fault divorce. Traditionally, to be granted a divorce, a married person needed to prove that their spouse committed one of several things to destroy the relationship, such as adultery or abandonment. In other words, a spouse had to be at fault for the marriage’s breakdown for the court to dissolve it.
No-fault divorce does away with this often burdensome requirement. Now, under modern New York divorce law, the only reason you need to claim in your divorce filing is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage without having to go into details or provide supporting evidence.
Requirements for no-fault divorce in New York
To qualify for a no-fault divorce, one of the following must be true:
- The marriage has suffered an irretrievable breakdown for at least six months, as stated by one spouse under oath
- You and your spouse have lived apart for at least one year under the terms of a separation agreement
- You have lived apart for at least one year under a separation decree granted by a court
If you prefer to avoid the separation and waiting period, you can still file for divorce based on the following grounds:
- Abandonment for at least one year
- Your spouse is in prison for at least three more years
- Cruel and inhumane treatment
No-fault divorce has made divorce more accessible and fair, but the process is still complicated. You and your spouse must divide your marital property equitably. If you have minor children together, you must work out child custody and provide for child support. Retaining an experienced attorney who gives your case their personal attention makes the divorce process much easier.