Thursday, June 17, 2010

NY one step closer to no-fault divorce law

On Tuesday the New York State Senate came one step closer to allowing NY to adopt a no-fault divorce law; making them the last state to do so. The State Senate approved legislation that would permit couples to separate by mutual consent.

In New York State, under current divorce law, one spouse must take the blame for the separation, even if both sides agree that the marriage can no longer be saved. In addition, to get a divorce, one party must allege inhumane and cruel treatment, adultery or abandonment, or the couple must be legally separated for a year. This often leads to long divorce and custody battles which often have detrimental effects on children.

The new legislation still has to pass the State Assembly, but will most likely be supported by Governor David A. Paterson, a Democrat, if it is passed by both houses of the Legislature.

1. Apparent declines in rates of domestic violence.
2. Empowerment for men and women in abusive relationships and partnerships, by default making it easier to leave (because no spouse has to take the blame for anything, it is simply an easy separation or divorce).
3. Less conflict during divorce, which will reduce the harm done to children and their parents.
4. Financial settlements are based on need, ability to pay and contribution to family finances, not fault.
5. It is harder under the no-fault divorce law to prove that a mother is unfit to parent= more mothers having custody of their children.

Clearly, the passage of this no-fault divorce law in New York State would benefit women and their children in many ways.

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