Getting married in New York is easier than getting divorced. You don’t need an explanation for why you want to get married, nor do you have to endure a long wait to secure state services. Typically, there will be little state oversight regarding who gets married, provided that they are an appropriate age and not already in a matrimonial relationship.
Divorce, on the other hand, often involves a significant amount of state oversight. New York laws influence everything from how you divide parental responsibilities to your share of marital property. One area of family law that confuses many people is the establishment of grounds for divorce.
Do you have to prove that your spouse did something terrible to file for divorce in New York?
Spouses in New York can file for no-fault or fault-based divorces
The law in New York offers you the option of filing a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce. There are four fault-based grounds for a divorce in New York. These include cruel and inhumane treatment, abandonment, imprisonment for three years or longer, and adultery.
However, the state also offers no-fault divorces. If you have experienced an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship that has lasted for at least six months or you have legally separated and lived apart for at least a year, you can divorce without proving fault.
No-fault divorces do not require that you prove anything. Rather, you simply have to be able to testify honestly in court that your marriage has gone through an irreversible breakdown that has lasted at least six months. If you can make such a statement under oath without perjuring yourself, then you don’t need to prove anything to divorce.
Why do people file fault-based divorces?
No-fault divorces are usually faster and, therefore, cheaper than a fault-based divorce would be. However, some people still file for divorce on specific grounds, like adultery or abuse. Every person filing for divorce has their own personal motivation, but there are also several common reasons for people to file a fault-based divorce.
Someone who practices a religion that usually does not recognize divorce may need a fault-based divorce decree to remain an active member of their faith community or to eventually remarry. Someone with a prenuptial agreement that imposes penalties for spousal misconduct may need a fault-based divorce to trigger those clauses and received their contractual compensation for the infidelity or other misconduct they endured.
Exploring why people file for divorce in different ways can help you decide the right approach to the dissolution of your marriage.