What Are the Pros and Cons of No-Fault Divorce in New York?

Since 2010, getting a divorce in NY was made easier when New York enacted no-fault divorce laws. A no-fault divorce is where one party can file for divorce if they are no longer happy in the marriage. They are not required to prove grounds for wanting the divorce, just that their marriage has broken down and there is no chance of a reconciliation.

Young couple is drifting apart after breakup

Pros of the New York No-Fault Divorce Process

There are several advantages provided by the New York no-fault divorce process.

  1. There is no need to prove that one party caused the breakdown in the marriage through adultery, domestic abuse, or other such reasons. If one person is behaving in such a manner, the other party can easily get out of the marriage without having to provide evidence of such treatment in court.
  2. The wait time to get a divorce is faster. In New York, you can file for divorce and obtain it in a matter of months, once you have met the 6-month minimum waiting period demonstrating the marriage cannot be salvaged.
  3. The costs to get a divorce can be less in amicable situations. When both parties want out of the marriage, there is not a lengthy trial over the disposition of marital assets, child custody, and other such issues.
  4. A couples’ reasons for divorce can remain private and do not have to become public knowledge. With no-fault divorces, the only reason one has to give for the divorce is that the marriage has failed and there will be no reconciliation.
  5. Parties can better focus on negotiating and reaching a settlement. To receive a divorce decree, a divorce settlement has to be reached that details how marital assets and the marital home will be divided, as well as child custody and access, and spousal support where applicable. Instead of wasting energy on arguing about who was at fault for the divorce, the couple can better put their energies toward reaching an agreement as soon as possible.
  6. It is better for minor children when their parents were in an unhealthy marriage. Children do not have to feel trapped and on edge when one parent is argumentative toward the other. Rather, once the parents are separated, a no-fault divorce helps create a healthier and stable environment for the children.

Kid daughter feeling upset while parents fighting at background

Cons of the New York No-Fault Divorce Process

There are a few cons related to the New York no-fault divorce process one should know:

  1. It is easier to get out of a marriage. It is not uncommon for one person to just want to be free from the other, and a no-fault divorce allows them to exit the marriage even when the other party doesn’t want to get divorced.
  2. When one person has behaved poorly, it does not require the other party to inform the court of their behavior. While the court will take into account what is best for minor children, they are not interested in adultery and other such issues any longer. This may leave some people feeling the other party is getting “off-the-hook” too easily.
  3. In contentious situations, the divorce process can be much longer and tedious. If one party refuses to negotiate to reach the divorce settlement and wants to litigate everything in court, it will take longer to finalize the divorce.

While there are a few cons to the no-fault divorce process in New York, the pros far outweigh them. To find out more about getting a divorce in NY, including Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Jamaica, and NYC, contact Joseph A. Ledwidge PC at 718-276-6656 to schedule a consultation today!

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