Hooray! New York has now joined the other 49 states in the United States concerning the grounds for divorce. On October 12, 2010, New York’s new no-fault divorce law went into effect. This is the first change in New York’s divorce law since the mid 1960’s. New York is now in conformity with the other 49 states in granting parties whose marriage has broken down a divorce without airing their personal problems in a court of law.
New Ground for Divorce
To obtain a divorce in New York, you now only need to allege that the marriage between the parties has been irretrievably broken down for a period in excess of six months. That’s it! That’s the entire ground for divorce. Parties in a divorce proceeding no longer need to allege adultery, cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment or living separate and apart for one year under a separation agreement. However, all of the aforementioned grounds for divorce still exist in the State of New York and nothing prevents individuals seeking a divorce based on these four other grounds.
New Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) Law
A statute accompanying the new no-fault divorce law deals with the issue of temporary maintenance (spousal support) while the divorce is pending in the courts in New York. This new statute creates a new formula and a list of factors for the court to follow in providing temporary spousal maintenance for the less financially secure spouse. The purpose of this new statute is to prevent the non-breadwinner spouse from going into a state of poverty during the pendency of a divorce proceeding.
The new statute creates a presumption that the less-monied spouse is entitled to receive both spousal maintenance and attorney fees during the course of the divorce proceeding. Under the law that previously existed, a party seeking to obtain attorney fees had to make an application to the court during the divorce process to obtain either temporary attorney fees or permanent attorney fees. The new law has considerably liberalized the rules concerning spouses receiving temporary spousal maintenance and attorney fees from the very beginning of the divorce process.
Speeding Up Cases
The purpose of the new no-fault divorce law, the new spousal maintenance law and the law regarding attorney fees is to simplify and speed up proceedings for divorce in the courts of the State of New York. During the 2009 calendar year, there were 13,212 contested divorce actions in the state of New York. Spouses no longer have to go through painful, long, expensive trials on the issue of who did what to whom in their divorce proceedings. They can now concentrate on the economic issues and the custody and visitation issues in divorce proceedings.
Should you wish to be divorced, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can help you with this new simplified process. Feel free to call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. Our phones are answered 24/7.