How Divorce Works In New York
Prior to 2010, New York was an "at-fault" divorce state, meaning that the reason for divorce had to be the result of a wrongdoing committed by one spouse. Uncontested divorce was not legally permissible, and one spouse was required to prove grounds for divorce based on an actions such as adultery, abandonment or cruel and inhuman treatment. These grounds had to be proved in court, which was a costly and lengthy legal process that often had damaging emotional and psychological consequences. As a result, the divorce process in New York was expensive, contentious and time consuming.
Fortunately, in 2010 the "at-fault" divorce requirement was removed, and "no-fault" uncontested divorce became permitted in the state. This allows couples to file for an uncontested divorce without needing to prove one spouse's responsibility for the dissolution of the marriage. Another benefit of this change is that the divorce process became cheaper, faster and amicable for spouses that agree to their marital settlement. New York still retains elements of "at-fault" divorce law, and the Plaintiff is required to state their reasons for divorce, which can include grounds other than "irreconcilable differences".