What does no-fault divorce mean for me?


I live in New York where they just passed no-fault divorce. What does no-fault divorce mean for me?



First, let me preface my answer by stating that I am not licensed to practice law in the state of New York. The information in the article is general in nature. You should contact an attorney in your jurisdiction immediately to discuss your options.

New York is the last state to adopt no-fault divorce. No-fault divorce means that either party can get out of the marriage for any reason or no reason at all. Here in Michigan, a divorce can be granted to either party who asserts that there has been a breakdown of the marriage to the extent that the objects of matrimony cannot be repaired. Unlike in a fault based divorce state, no proof that the marriage is broken is required.

Because I am not licensed in New York, I cannot accurately describe how this will affect your current divorce. It is likely that the New York courts will apply the new no-fault rules retroactively to cases that are pending, and your wife will not need to prove grounds for the divorce. This means that whether you want a divorce or not, it can still be granted.

You should contact an attorney who is licensed in New York to further discuss the specifics of your situation.

Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude. 

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