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No Fault Divorce
No Fault divorce is now the law in New York State. While various proposals have been tossed about for decades now, New York State has finally embraced a No Fault Divorce bill.
New York was the last State in the Union that still required a party to claim and prove that their spouse did something wrong, and based on that wrong -what we call “grounds”- they have a right to a divorce. The most common grounds in New York up to now were adultery, cruel and inhuman treatment (physical or emotional), or abandonment (physical or sexual).
A common complaint was that requiring grounds left people who lacked such claims stuck in a loveless marriage or worse, with one spouse leveraging grounds against the other spouse. It was not uncommon for one spouse to argue that the other had no grounds for divorce, and thus, if they want out of the marriage, they would need to walk away from some marital assets or benefits that they would otherwise be entitled to in order to “pay the price” to end the marriage. While there is much debate as to whether or not grounds are of more benefit than harm, New York has taken that final step and now allows couples to get divorced simply due to what is termed “an irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage for a period of six months.
The new law specifically states that one party may claim an “irretrievable breakdown” in the marriage, which must exist for a period of 6 months. Thus far, with this law being new, it appears that one party’s sworn statement that such breakdown exists, may be sufficient to warrant a divorce. The other grounds for divorce previously used, remain available and a spouse could still sue for a divorce on cruelty or adultery if they wish.
However, even where the Court finds an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage to exist, a divorce still cannot be granted until the couple has resolved all of their issues of custody, support, asset distribution, and division of debts. In effect, the only thing the new law does is take away the battleground as to whether or not the marriage should be dissolved.
While there is no doubt, that No Fault will be greatly welcomed by many practitioners and may even open the flood gates of litigation for those clients who have been putting their divorces on hold due to lack of grounds, the practitioners will still have to navigate the mine fields of litigation and negotiation since no final judgment of divorce can be granted until all other issues are resolved by the parties either through agreement or after trial.
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“At an extremely traumatic time for me, Barb King treated me with compassion and comfort. She reassured me she would advocate for me, educated me on my rights, and yet never stirred up acrimony or delayed the proceedings. She was always …
“Barb was very knowledgeable and competent. I am very thankful for what your offices do for me. Thank you” - J.B. on Partner Barbara J. King
“I had a fantastic experience with Barb. She was practical, did not waste time (or fees), and gave blunt, accurate advice. Nobody has a good experience going through a divorce, but having Barb as an advisor makes for a much …
Tully Rinckey PLLC family and matrimonial attorney Barbara King, Esq., answered listener questions on WGNA’s “Ask the Lawyer.” Ms. King provides insight on a multitude of divorce questions including social security benefits, filing divorce papers when a spouse cannot be …
Tully Rinckey PLLC matrimonial and family attorney Barb King, Esq., answered listener questions on WGNA’s “Ask the Lawyer.” Ms. King provides insight on divorce and child support questions.
Tully Rinckey PLLC family and matrimonial attorney Barbara King, Esq., answered listener questions on WGNA’s “Ask the Lawyer.” Ms. King provides insight on property distribution and general divorce questions.
By Mathew B. Tully Question: I’m divorced and own a restaurant. My business is still reeling from a horrible winter and I’m having trouble meeting my child support obligations. At what point does a decline in business merit lower child …
School will be out soon and the children couldn’t be happier. Summer schedules, however, present many challenges for divorced or separated parents who now have children home 24/7 and need to rearrange custodial access schedules. With fewer stay-at-home parents these …
With so many second marriages forming these days, the “blended family” has become a common event. The term refers to families that bring together children from prior marriages or relationships, to live in one household together. Over time, the bond …
New York State Bar Association: Matrimonial Trial Institute IV: A Mock Financial Trial – December 6, 2013
Presenter: Barbara J. King Date: Friday, December 6, 2013 Time: 8:30 AM – 4:10 PM MCLE Credits: 6.5 Skills for all attorneys Location: New York State Nurses Association 11 Cornell Road Latham, New York 12210 Tully Rinckey PLLC partner Barbara …
Presenter: Jennifer J. Corcoran, Esq. Date: December 17, 2013 Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m. Skills: 1 CLE Credit Hour Unable to join us in Albany? Join us online via webconference. *Please note that newly admitted attorneys (attorneys admitted two years or less) …
Presenter: Jennifer J. Corcoran, Esq. Date: December 17, 2013 Time: 7:00-8:00 p.m. Skills: 1 CLE Credit Hour Unable to join us in Albany? Join us online via webconference. *Please note that newly admitted attorneys (attorneys admitted two years or less) …