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Are you and your spouse able to file for “no-fault” divorce?

In the state of New York, there are seven grounds for divorce, one of which is commonly known as “no-fault,” an option that has been available since 2010.

This option has many merits as the basis of your divorce case if you qualify.

What it means

The newest addition to the list of grounds you can use to obtain a divorce in New York State is the “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage,” better known as “no fault.” You might think of this as the more traditional citing of “irreconcilable differences.” Whatever you choose to call it, the no-fault divorce takes less time and is less expensive than a contested divorce. The time frame of about a year start to finish is more in line with an uncontested divorce in which the couple works out their own issues without court interference.

How to qualify

To obtain a no-fault divorce, you have to fulfill two qualifications. First, either you or your spouse have to state under oath that your marriage has broken down irretrievably for at least the past six months and cannot be repaired. Second, you must affirm that you and your spouse have resolved the existing economic issues:

  •         Spousal maintenance
  •         Child support
  •         Child custody and visitation
  •         Property division
  •         Attorney and experts’ fees and expenses

About property division

Because New York is an equitable distribution state, you and your spouse will not necessarily have a 50-50 split of your marital property but rather what is fair to you both. In a no-fault divorce, it is important that the two of you come to an agreement on the division of property; otherwise, a judge will decide. Several factors will affect the decision, such as your health, the length of time your marriage lasted and your anticipated future finances.

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