No-Fault Divorce

In October 2010, the New York State legislature introduced no-fault divorce, based on irretrievable breakdown in relationship, which had previously not been available in the state. Up to then, a divorcing spouse had to allege that the other spouse was somehow at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. He or she had to allege abandonment, constructive abandonment, lock-out, adultery, cruelty or imprisonment on the part of the other spouse, which added time and expense to the divorce process.

A no-fault divorce allows one spouse to file for divorce without blaming the other spouse or indicating that it was that spouse's fault. It is just a matter of alleging irretrievable breakdown in relationship between the parties for a period of at least six months. However, a no-fault divorce will not be granted by the court unless all issues of property distribution, alimony, child support, custody and visitation have been resolved by the parties or decided by the court.