New York Info

New York Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals New York Articles Divorce Facts Divorce Grounds Residency Divorce Laws Mediation/Counseling Divorce Process Legal Separation Annulments Property Division Alimony Child Custody Child Support Divorce Forms Process Service Grandparent Rights Forum New York Products Divorce by County

New York Articles

Agreements Custody & Visitation Child Support Counseling Divorce/General Domestic Abuse Financial Planning Foreign Divorce Mediation Parenting Property Division Spousal Support SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Advertise With Us Free Network Page Join Our Network Submit Articles Case Management Sign In

Network Sites

New York Divorce Support New York Divorce Online

New York’s Antiquated Fault-Based Divorce System - A Judge’s Call for Action

New York remains the only state in the nation without a no-fault basis for divorce. Under New York's Domestic Relations Law, a party must allege "fault" on the part of his or her spouse as a prerequisite for obtaining a judgment of divorce. The sole exception to this is the "conversion divorce" (DRL Section 170(6)), which permits the entry of a judgment of divorce if the husband and wife have lived separate and apart pursuant to a written and acknowledged separation agreement for a period of at least one year.

Countless commentators have expressed dismay at the failure of New York legislature to bring New York's divorce laws out of the 19th century. New York's antiquated fault-based divorce system enables any defendant in a divorce action to delay (and, in certain instances, block) the divorce process by seizing upon grounds as a defense. Under New York law, a divorce litigant may even demand a trial by jury on the issue of the grounds for divorce.

On April 16, 2007, Justice Robert A. Ross, in Nassau County Supreme Court, issued a decision that summarizes the profoundly negative consequences of New York's antiquated divorce law:

In all-too-frequent occurrence, matrimonial courts are faced with innumerable instances where efficacious resolution of economic issues and custody determinations are backseated and delayed by fault (grounds) trials. The party without resources to afford such litigation, or, the party who chooses not to aggressively allege the faults of his/her spouse, is often at a tactical disadvantage -- simply because an opposing party seeks to impose financial leverage or exacting personal animus, due to the current statutory scheme[.]

Molinari v. Molinari, Supreme Court, Nassau County (101728-05 (April 16, 2007).

In Molinari, Justice Ross describes the legislation currently pending in the New York legislature that would add irreconcilable differences as a basis for obtaining a divorce in New York. In what can only be described as a loud cry for the legislature to finally act on this issue, Justice Ross concludes with his ruling: he is holding his decision as to grounds in abeyance pending the legislature's action on the pending no-fault legislation (Bill A03027).

Unfortunately, within days after Justice Ross issued his decision, the New York Law Journal reported that "approval of such a bill [enacting no-fault divorce] was a longshot this year". NYLJ, April 19, 2007. Sadly, Justice Ross' call for action regarding New York divorce appears to have fallen on deaf ears. New York's legislature has once again lived up to its reputation as the most dysfunctional legislature in the nation.


Was this helpful? Like our site & let us know.

Related Articles


Start New York Divorce Start Your New York Online Divorce Today
Easy, Fast and Affordable with a 100% Guarantee.
New York Divorce Find New York Divorce Professionals in Your Area:
Join the Network
New York Divorce Products, Services and Solutions New York Divorce Products, Services and Solutions
New York Divorce Resources to Help You Through the Process.
Online Parenting Class New York Mandatory Online Parenting Class
Easy and convenient - complete at your own pace online.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Divorce Bookstore
Over 100 Titles of the Best Books on Divorce & Custody.
Divorce Downloads Divorce Download Center
Instantly Download, Books, Manuals, & Forms.
Divorce Worksheet Free New York Divorce Worksheet & Separation Agreement
Your Guide to Get Organized and Put Everything in Writing.
   
Marital property is all property earned or acquired during the marriage. Separate property is that owned by one party before the marriage. In New York, separate property is awarded to that individual. However, the increase in value of separate property that occurs during the marital period may be divided under the equitable distribution system. Separate property also includes gifts or inheritances received during the marriage.
Divorce Lawyers & Mediators
 

Find Professionals

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

 

Start Your Divorce File for a New York Divorce

 

Settle Your Divorce Negotiate Your New York Divorce

 

Support Forum New York Support Forum

Children In Between - Online Parenting Class


FEATURED TOOL - 3StepDivorceTM (a complete "do it yourself" solution for any uncontested divorce)

Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site
Limited Offer Women's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"The Absolute Best Investment in Your Divorce"

Men's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"Uncover Your Options and Unleash Solutions"