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The Ins And Outs Of No-fault Divorces

Prior to 2012, New York law made it extremely difficult to residents to successfully file for divorce. The state required that all couples file on fault-based grounds, such as inhumane treatment, abandonment, adultery, or imprisonment. Fortunately, the Empire State has caught up with the times and now allows for no-fault divorce.

Contrary to what many believe, a no-fault divorce is different than an uncontested divorce in that the latter is less concerned with who is at fault and more focused on agreement of opinion between spouses. If you believe your marital relationship may meet the requirements of a no-fault divorce, keep reading to learn more about what is necessary in order to file.


The grounds for a no-fault divorce dictate that a marriage must have “broken down irretrievably” for at least six months. Although a couple does not have to be living apart during these six months, the court must be convinced that the marriage has indeed broken down for at least this long.

Some courts may require evidence that the spouses are unable to resolve their differences. If marital misconduct is deemed the reason for a divorce, one spouse may found to be at fault for the separation.

Before filing for a divorce, keep in mind that New York has a residency requirement of at least two years. The divorce may also take place if the marriage or the grounds for the divorce took place in the state. You are also eligible to file even if you and your spouse are still living together.

It is important to note that the court will not deem the divorce final until you and your spouse have resolved certain issues. If you are unable to resolve them together, the court may get involved and work with you to create a final judgment of divorce.

The following issues should be resolved prior to filing:

  • Division of marital property
  • Spousal support
  • Child support
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Attorneys’ fees

No-fault divorces can be one of the best ways for a couple to obtain the most satisfactory outcome for their futures. If you are in need of legal counsel and representation for your imminent divorce, contact a New York City divorce lawyer from our firm today!




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