What is a No Fault Divorce?
A no fault divorce refers to any divorce where the spouse requesting divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something irrevocably wrong to ruin the marriage. All states in the U.S. allow for the filing of a no fault divorce.
To file a no fault divorce, a spouse must simply state a reason for the filing that is formally recognized by the state. In the majority of states, it is sufficient to declare that the couple simply cannot get along (filed formally as “irreconcilable differences”, “irremediable breakdown of the marriage” or “incompatibility”). In some jurisdictions; however, the couple is required to live apart for a certain period of time before they are allowed to file for a no fault divorce.
In summation, a no-fault divorce is dissolution of marriage that requires neither a showing of poor behavior of either spouse nor the undertaking of any legal proceedings. Statutes providing for no-fault divorces permit family courts to grant a divorce in response to a complaint by either spouse, without requiring a spouse to provide evidence that the responding party has committed a breach of the marital contract.
No Fault Divorce New York:
In July of 2010, New York joined the other 49 states in the U.S. by adding the option for no fault divorce filings. Therefore, a couple, after deciding to separate and fortifying the terms of the settlement, the couple is no longer required to move backwards to figure out who is “at fault” in the divorce process.
To file a no fault divorce in New York, new grounds require that one spouse state—through formal divorce documents—that the marriage has been “irretrievably broken for a period of at least 6 months.” New York divorce laws do not define “irretrievably broken.”
There are seven grounds for divorce in the state of New York. To prevail in a divorce filing, certain elements must be proven. Failure to affirm these elements will result in the petition being dismissed. The new ground for no fault divorce New York specifically states:
“The relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months, provided that one party has so stated under oath. No judgment of divorce shall be granted under this subdivision unless and until the economic issues of equitable distribution of marital property, the payment or waiver of spousal support, the payment of child support, the payment of counsel and experts' fees and expenses as well as the custody and visitation with the infant children of the marriage have been resolved by the parties, or determined by the court and incorporated into the judgment of divorce."
Before the introduction of no fault ground divorce New York, the state required that the couple live apart from one another for at least one year before the dissolution could be filed. This process was known as a “conversion divorce.”
No fault divorce New York grants this dissolution of marriage based on the irretrievable dissolution of a marriage. In New York, the relationship between a husband and wife must break down—irretrievably—for a period of at least six months. Even in cases of mutual consent, all parties to a no fault divorce New York might disagree over child custody, support, division of marital assets, alimony or who is responsible for paying legal fees. These instances are known as “ancillary relief” and may be requested by one or both of the parties.
Residency Requirements for No Fault Divorce New York:
For a no fault divorce New York to be finalized, the New York State Supreme Court must maintain jurisdiction over the spouses. More specifically, the following residency conditions must be satisfied:
1. The marriage ceremony must have been performed in the state of New York. Moreover, either spouse must be a resident of New York at the time of the commencement for divorce. One of the spouses must have resided in New York for a continuous period of one year before the action took place.
2. The couple must live as husband and wife in the state of New York and either spouse must be a resident of the state at the time of the commencement for divorce. Moreover, to engage in a no fault divorce New York; the couple must reside in New York for a continuous period of one year prior to the beginning of the action.
3. To procure a no fault divorce New York, the grounds for dissolution must have occurred in New York and bout spouses must be New York residents at the time the action takes place.
4. If the spouses are married outside of New York and have not lived together as husband and wife in the state and the grounds for dissolution did not take place in the state then, one of the spouses must presently reside in New York or have resided continuously in New York for at least two years before filing an action for divorce.
The act of residing “continuously” in New York does not constitute that the party cannot leave the state during the period of residency nor does it mean that the spouses do not have another residence elsewhere outside of the state.