While New York is usually up-to-the minute in most areas of progress, divorce law is not one of them. The state was the last in the country to pass a no-fault divorce law. A couple of years later, divorce in New York is still a sticky situation, notes Houston lawyer Craig Seldin.
May 9, 2012
Up until 2010, one person in a marriage in New York needed to take responsibility for the dissolution of the marriage. The state was the last in country to pass a no-fault divorce law.
With a no-fault divorce, no one person is held responsible for the end of the marriage, notes Texas-based lawyer Craig Seldin. One of Seldin’s specialties is divorce law.
The purpose of the no-fault divorce law was to make the process of getting a divorce less complicated. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, a no-fault divorce should cost less and result in less emotional pain, as the divorce trial would not drag on.
Despite the law, some counties in the state are still requiring trials for couples seeking a no-fault divorce. In those counties, couples are expected to prove that the divorce is truly no one’s fault.
That goes against the nature of the law, notes legal professionals like Craig Seldin. While some couples can agree that a marriage is broken and a divorce the best possible option, other couples may not reach such an agreement.
One person should not have to stay in a marriage because the person they are married to does not want a divorce. A no-fault divorce means that a person can dissolve a marriage, even if the other person does not want to.
According to lawyers, the wording of the law in New York tends to ambiguity, which is why many judges are deciding to pursue trials. In order to achieve the desired results, notes Seldin, the law needs to be extremely clear. If there is any room for interpretation in the law, a married person who wants a quick divorce could face months of trial time.
That is exactly what happened to 79-year-old Gloria Sorrentino. She had waited for the state to pass a no-fault law, only to be placed on the stand during her divorce trial.
Houston-based attorney Craig Seldin has practiced law since 1978. He focuses on a number of areas of the law, including family and divorce law, immigration law, and personal injury.