Prior to 2010, the only way to get a divorce in New York State was by alleging one of five legally recognized “faults,” something a spouse did to justify it. However, in 2010, New York introduced no-fault divorce, allowing a couple to seek a divorce by simply alleging an “irretrievable breakdown” in the relationship for at least six months. Unlike other states that have introduced no-fault divorce, however, the old faults weren’t removed, which means you can file on both grounds. But simply because you can still claim your spouse is at fault, doesn’t mean you should.
There are six traditionally recognized grounds for divorce under New York law: 1) cruel and inhuman treatment, 2) abandonment, 3) imprisonment, 4) adultery, and 5) divorce after a legal separation agreement or 6) judgment of separation. The downside of proving fault, however, is that it almost always involves a long, contentious legal battle that you aren’t guaranteed to win. Even if you do ultimately prove your spouse was at fault, you may have spent thousands of dollars and months or years of your life proving it.
That’s why many people who could seek an at-fault divorce choose not to. With the difficulty, stress and legal costs of proving your spouse is at fault, it can be easier, cheaper and faster to simply accept a no-fault divorce. You may not get everything you want out of the divorce proceeding, but at the very least, you can make the process less painful and expensive.
If you’re going through a divorce, you’ll need legal representation to get the best outcome possible. The matrimonial attorneys at the Marnell Law Group have the knowledge and experience you need to fight for your rights and protect your assets. We provide matrimonial representation across Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Give us a call at (516)-542-9000 or send us a message through our contact page.