Can Fault Be Assigned in the Irretrievable Breakdown of a Marriage in New York State?

In some cases, a divorce can be resolved quickly and simply, while at other times the breakup is more complicated. It doesn’t matter who you are, it’s safe to say that divorce is stressful and a big change for anyone.

If you’re considering filing for divorce then it’s wise to first know your options. For instance, you’ll need to know the ideal method for resolving your divorce and how you’re going to file your divorce. Here we’ll dive deeper into and answer the question, can fault be assigned in the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage in New York?

What is an Irretrievable Breakdown in Marriage?

In New York, there are seven grounds for divorce, and one of these is considered irretrievable breakdown. This means that for the duration of at least six months, the marriage or relationship has broken down to the point of being considered beyond repair. In its simplest form, this is a general argument that the marriage no longer works for one or both spouses. In New York State, fault cannot be assigned in the irretrievable breakdown of marriage, and therefore neither party can blame the failed marriage on the other party.

For it to be finalized, either both parties need to agree or the courts need to settle up debts, property, visitation, child support, and spousal support. It’s also called no-fault divorce and first became grounds for divorce in New York in 2010. The majority of couples choose to use irretrievable breakdown of a marriage when filing for divorce.

Residency Requirements

There are residency requirements if you are someone who wants to get divorced in New York State. These are as follows:

  • One of you or both of you lived in the state for a minimum of two years without interruption.
  • One of you or both of you lived in the state in the year before the divorce was filed, AND either you lived in NY as a married couple, got married in NY, or the grounds for divorce occurred in NY.
  • You’re both residents on the day you file for divorce.

A no-fault divorce associated on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown is typically easier, quicker, and more private than if you were to file fault grounds. The following fault grounds can be cited in New York State:

  • Institutionalization
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Adultery
  • Abandonment for at least one year
  • Imprisonment

Grounds for Divorce

Another important matter when it comes to whether it can be considered a no-fault divorce in New York is the grounds for divorce. In the event of one or both spouses claiming a marriage is ending based on irretrievable breakdown is that New York will consider this a no-fault divorce. This means that you have every right to cite irretrievable breakdown of a marriage if the breakdown has been in existence for at least six months. This is generally a simple, common choice for many couples seeking a divorce in New York.

The divorce cannot be contested when there is an irretrievable breakdown of a marriage cited. In addition, you are not required to provide any proof. In the instance where you cite fault grounds for your divorce then proof may be required. For example, if adultery is the matter at hand then you might need to show proof of this to the courts.

Ways to Have A Smoother Divorce

You may be wondering how you can make your divorce proceedings go as smoothly as possible. If you and your spouse can work out certain matters such as dividing up property and settling debts then you can avoid a trial. A trial will cost you more money and will take a lot longer. Another tip is to try to secure child custody and support orders in advance from the Family Court before you decide to file for divorce. It’s best to talk through and settle all of these matters before you go to court. As always, the wise move on your part is to consult with a lawyer right away and ensure that you’re doing what’s best for you and your children.

In Summary & How We Can Help

Divorce is never a seamless process and there are legal matters as well as emotions involved. However, you should always know your options and this includes understanding what filing a no-fault divorce means.

Here at Adria S. Hillman, Attorney at Law, P.C., we understand that breaking up is hard to do and are experts in family law. We not only provide hands-on assistance with legal separation, divorce, and prenuptial/postnuptial agreements but also with all complex financial and multifaceted custody aspects of family law. Our team is dedicated, knowledgeable, and professional, and will help you navigate the uncertain and complex circumstances and legal matters that come along with any divorce.

Get in touch with our team today to learn more and schedule a consultation. 

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