No-Fault Divorce Hits New YorkMarybeth Sampsel
In mid-August, New York Governor David Patterson signed a bill that finally allows New York couples to divorce by mutual consent and does not require one party to accuse the other of infidelity/adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or imprisonment. The new law also allows a spouse to divorce the other unilaterally, meaning a party can receive a divorce even if their spouse does not want the marriage to end. Proponents of the bill have indicated that the changes to the law will put an end to the contentious litigation that has plagued New York divorce courts for decades. Opponents of the bill, including the Roman Catholic Church, have expressed concern that the changes will encourage divorces and drive up divorce rates within the state. Governor Patterson released a statement stating, “New York has brought its divorce laws into the 21st century.” Read Governor Patterson’s official comments here.