New York No-Fault Divorce

New York No-Fault Divorce is based on “Irretrievable Breakdown” of the marriage.

NY no-fault divorce is here.

New York no-fault divorce is finally here.

New York is one of the last states to pass a no-fault divorce law.  As of August  15, 2010, New Yorkers have the option of filing for a no-fault divorce. New York no-fault divorce has arrived.

Before 2010, New York granted divorces only on a fault ground or you could enter into a New York Marital Separation Agreement, file it with the court, and the wait for one year, after which the parties could get a divorce.

New York still retains fault grounds for divorce. The fault grounds for  divorce in New York are:

  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Abandonment for a continuous period of one year or more
  • Imprisonment for more than three years subsequent to the marriage
  • Adultery
  • Conversion of a separation judgment
  • Conversion of a written and acknowledged separation agreement after living separate and apart for more than one year

New York no-fault divorce is based on Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

The new New York ground for no-fault divorce is called “Irretrievable Breakdown” of the marriage. This is the same as a “no-fault” divorce. “Irretrievable breakdown” is defined in the statute as:

  • The relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months (DRL §170.7)

The new ground reduces the waiting period for a New York no-fault divorce to  six months.

If the parties agree on all of the issues, which can result from the execution of a Marital Separation Agreement, the parties have a “New York uncontested divorce”.  An uncontested divorce in New York can be granted if the defendant waives the right to answer, but the plaintiff must prove the allegations that the divorce is irretrievably broken by either affidavit or appearance at a hearing where testimony is given.

You have choices in filing your New York no fault divorce in terms of keeping your legal costs reasonable. If you enter into a Marital Separation Agreement your divorce becomes “uncontested” and the filing of the divorce is straight forward with a minimal amount of legal procedures. If you think you need a lawyer, you now can purchase legal forms bundled with legal advice from a virtual, on-line law firm. The legal fee is often less than if you were to go to a full service divorce attorney.

A network of virtual law firms

A network of virtual law firms

A list of virtual law firms in New York can be found here at

Another alternative is to purchase legal forms. Legalforms are available foor the New York court site for free. Click here for free legal forms from the NY Court Site. These forms are not interactive and either in Adobe  .PDF or MS Word format. They can be difficult and complex to complete.

For an alternative to the court site,  try our smart and interactive forms, which include help screens, and which you can complete within your web browser here . These forms are instantly available.

Our site also offers paralegal prepared legal forms, however your best value is to purchase the legal forms package only, as none of the legal document preparation web sites can give legal advice because they are not law firms. If you feel challenged by completing legal forms online, then consider our document preparation service, but be aware that what you get is the same product as our smart legal forms web service.

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