Last night, the NYS Assembly overwhelmingly approved the no-fault divorce legislation by a vote of 113-19. The law, which passed in the Senate last month, will for the first time allow couples to obtain a divorce by mutual consent. For more information, click here.Leave a comment...
Today, the New York Times published a letter from Cara Raich in response to a recent Op-Ed about the history of no-fault divorce and the controversy surrounding it. To read Cara’s letter, click on the link above or read below:
To the Editor:
Re “Divorce, No-Fault Style,” by Stephanie Coontz (Op-Ed, June 17):
Having to establish grounds to get divorced can be viewed as an encroachment on freedom.
Consenting adults deserve the freedom to choose when to end their marriages without having to explain themselves to the court, just as they do not have to explain to the state why they are choosing to marry.
The crux of the matter in a divorce action in court is not the grounds (reason) for the divorce; it is about how parenting time will be allocated, how assets and liabilities will be divided and how and whether money will flow between the former spouses once the divorce is final. Those issues must be front and center, ahead of why they have decided not to remain married.
Why should any government have the right to tell people they must prove that their marriage is over for specific reasons the state deems worthy? New York has stood alone on this issue.
Couples are the best experts in the viability of their own marriages. It is time to allow overstretched matrimonial judicial resources (needed by people in matrimonial litigations) to focus on solving how the business of the divorce will be handled, not the reason it is happening.
Empowering couples in the divorce process to make their own choices will with luck lead to more couples’ choosing to resolve their divorces with the help of mediators and the support of counsel, as opposed to litigating in the court system.
Cara M. Raich
New York, June 17, 2010
As you may have heard, New York is finally on course to adopt no-fault divorce. Legislation is pending in the New York State Legislature that would allow couples to separate by providing mutual consent. Under current law, even if both spouses agree to a divorce, one spouse must prove that the other is at fault by alleging a ground — a legal reason — for the divorce. New York is the only state that still hasn’t adopted some form of no-fault divorce. Overhaul is long overdue. For a recent article about the status of the legislation, click here.Leave a comment...