New York No-Fault Divorce

If you have looked into getting a divorce in New York, you have probably run into some complicated legal jargon. One of these terms may have been “no fault” divorce. There is enough to deal with when you are contemplating divorce without having to worry about the complexities of the legal process. Here is an explanation of what it means for New York to be a “No-Fault” divorce state. For all of your divorce questions and concerns, CDH Law has answers for you.

What Does It Mean That New York is a “No-Fault” Divorce State?

New York adopted no-fault divorce in 2010. It was the last state to do so. Prior to this, New York was a fault state which meant that, in a divorce, one spouse must be “at fault” for the divorce. A party to the divorce would have to prove that the other spouse engaged in one of the qualifying reasons, such as adultery or abandonment, to be deemed “at fault” for the divorce. You can understand why at fault divorce can be highly contentious. It sets the foundation for a fight right from the beginning. This led to messier, more expensive divorces.

With no-fault divorce, neither spouse has to be found to be “at fault” for the divorce. Neither spouse needs to be held responsible for the divorce. No one has to prove fault. It was a long-awaited relief to many couples looking to divorce simply because things were not working out. The no-fault divorce option allows couples to forego extended trials to prove an at fault ground for divorce.

A no-fault divorce means that one or both of the parties is asserting that “the relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months.” The parties need not agree that this is the case. Only one party needs to swear to this under oath. With the no-fault divorce option, the parties are freed from the burden of fighting over who was at-fault and who had enough evidence to prove fault. The soon to be former spouses can focus on important issues such as spousal support, child custody, and child visitation, among other things.

Although no-fault divorce has been adopted in New York, the state still allows for fault-based divorces. The parties to the divorce may assert grounds for divorce which include:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Legal separation for over a year

Although fault-based divorce is still an option, most people opt for a no-fault divorce as it is much easier to do so.

It is also important to distinguish between a no-fault divorce and an uncontested divorce. A no-fault divorce relates to the basis of the divorce. An uncontested divorce means that both parties to the divorce have agreed to all key terms of the divorce. The parties must agree on everything from spousal maintenance to division of debts, and division of assets. A divorce can be both no-fault and uncontested.

Trusted Divorce Legal Counsel

At CDH Law, we are dedicated to representing the best interest of our clients. If you are considering divorce, our trusted divorce attorneys are here to answer any of your questions and provide you with the legal support you can count on. Contact us today.

Five Things You Should Know About Divorcing With Kids

Some parents stay together even after their marital relationship has ended because they believe that it is best for the children. However, being in an unhappy relationship can make home a tense, miserable place for everyone to live. If you are contemplating divorcing with kids, a New York divorce lawyer can help you ensure your children’s best interests are protected during the divorce proceeding. Below are five things that might help you as you take steps to end your marriage while continuing to raise happy, well-adjusted children.

1.     You can end your relationship with your spouse while you continue to co-parent.

Children typically benefit when parents work together to co-parent. It allows the parents to develop a time-sharing schedule that is tailored to the needs of the children. Co-parenting also helps maintain a close relationship between the children and both parents. While it may be challenging, especially if you and your ex-spouse do not get along well, you can succeed in co-parenting with patience and dedication.

2.     Child support is based on guidelines.

Both parents are expected to support their children financially even though the marriage has ended. New York has Child Support Guidelines that the court uses to determine each parent’s financial obligation to their children. However, a judge may deviate from the Child Support Guidelines for a variety of reasons. Typically, the parent in whose home the child resides for the majority of nights receives the support payments.

3.     Be careful when discussing issues related to divorce and finances.

Children may typically ignore a parent’s conversations with other individuals. However, when parents separate, children may begin to pay more attention to conversations their parents have with other individuals because the children are curious, frightened, or worried. Refrain from discussing the divorce and financial matters when your children are home unless you are absolutely sure your children are not somewhere in the home where they can overhear your conversation.

4.     You may need to split holidays and other special occasions.

If parents cannot get along well enough to share holidays and special occasions, a time-sharing schedule will alternate these days each year. In some cases, parents may need to split a day so that each parent has access to the child, such as on the child’s birthday. It is best for the child when parents can work together to avoid disputes related to holidays and unnecessary shuffling around between homes.

5.     Your children may need professional counseling.

Even when parents are on good terms with each other and a divorce proceeding is amicable, children may experience a variety of emotions they are unable to process. In some cases, children need professional counseling to work through their feelings about the divorce. Children benefit when parents are supportive about counseling and encourage children to be honest about their emotional needs during a divorce proceeding.

Call a New York Divorce Attorney for Assistance

Divorce can be very disruptive for a child. However, parents who are patient and communicate with their children can help them transition from a two parent home to separate homes. If you have questions about custody, contact one of our New York divorce attorneys today.