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Choosing Between A Fault And No-Fault Divorce

In 2010, New York finally put a no-fault divorce law on the books, making it the last state in the country to do so. Prior, parties were forced to file for a fault-based divorce, meaning one party had to prove to the court that wrongdoing by their partner, including abuse and adultery, caused the end of their marriage. Now, with a choice between both, it’s important to do your homework on the differences between fault and no-fault divorces before making a decision.

Which process is right for you?

A no-fault divorce is the preferred method for couples who don’t want to assign blame to either party for the end of their marriage. In many cases, this process is less stressful because spouses are not required to reveal the sordid details of their marriage to the court. Studies have also shown that domestic violence rates have dropped in no-fault states, because spouses don’t have to show proof of wrongdoing to the court to separate from their partner. In short, this makes divorces more readily available to people who need it.

However, no-fault divorces aren’t for everybody. The state does not require a waiting period for fault divorces, allowing your case to be heard by the court sooner than in no-fault divorces. Also, if it is found that your spouse was to blame for your divorce, this could factor into the child support, spousal support and property division plans the court establishes, helping you collect a larger share. There is a perception that no-fault divorces give guilty spouses a way out of a marriage, without having to take responsibility for any abuse or adultery they committed. That’s not the case in a fault divorce.

If you need guidance when choosing between a no-fault and fault divorce, contact Sager Gellerman Eisner Attorneys at Law in Queens for effective counsel and sound representation on your case.

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