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Update on No Fault Divorce in New York

New York modernized its divorce law in November of 2010. This was the first change in New York’s divorce law since the 1960s.

To obtain a divorce in New York, pursuant to Domestic Relations Law §170, “an action for divorce may be maintained by a husband or wife to procure a judgment divorcing the parties and dissolving the marriage on any of the following grounds…the relationship between the husband and the wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months, provided that one party has so stated under oath.”

Justice Muller in Essex County

Justice Robert J. Muller, sitting in the Supreme Court located in Essex County, New York, in the matter of Stroffolino v. Stroffolino, ruled that a party denying irreconcilable differences is entitled to a trial on this issue. This is the second judge in New York to order a trial on the issue of irreconcilable differences in New York. The issue before the court is whether a trial on the fault ground in these divorce cases violates the legislature’s intent to create a no fault divorce ground that avoids litigation.

In the case before Justice Muller in Essex County, Judith A. Strack asked the court for a no fault divorce, claiming her marriage had irretrievably broken down. She alleged that she and her husband lived apart during the week and they had separate interests. She also claimed they had separate friends, hobbies, acquaintances and had developed separate lifestyles. Unfortunately, Mr. Strack said his wife’s allegations were untrue.

Justice Muller, in a decision regarding the no fault divorce statute, concluded that the issue of irreconcilable differences was a triable issue. This brings into question whether New York’s new no-fault divorce ground will accomplish its goal of eliminating trials on the issue of fault in divorce.

Fathers’ Rights Attorneys in New York

The Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel have been representing fathers regarding all aspects of fathers’ rights matters since the early 1980s. We litigate divorce cases. We have extensive practical experience in dealing with custody issues, child support, orders of protection, visitation issues, child abuse, child neglect and the equitable distribution of property in divorces.

In matrimonial cases, where the parties are reasonable and can discuss resolution, we assist our clients in negotiation of separation agreements and settlement agreements. When fathers are downsized or lose their jobs, we bring child support modification proceedings. Feel free to contact us at 1-800-344-6431; 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore