Divorce law and procedures were very stringent until August 15, 2010 as New York recognized divorces only upon fault-based criteria. There was no provision in the divorce law to file a divorce on mutual consent.
The state Senate on June 30 approved a No-Fault Divorce bill. The State Assembly also passed the No-Fault Divorce bill on Thursday, July 1, 2010, and the Governor has signed it into law.
One can file divorce petition on one of the below mentioned grounds:
- Cruel and / or inhuman treatment by other spouse or family members
- Abandonment for a continuous period of one year or more
- Imprisonment of spouse for more than three years subsequent to the marriage
- Conversion of a separation judgment
- Conversion of a written and acknowledged separation agreement after living separate and apart for more than one year
Prior to 2010, all divorces, even by uncontested consent, had to be based on one of the six grounds stated above. Those grounds did not include accusations of bad conduct against the plaintiff unless such bad conduct rises to the level of cruel and inhuman treatment.
Since 2010, a new ground has been added, effectively permitting no-fault divorce in New York state:
- The relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months
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