As reported by Utica, New York’s NBC affiliate WKTV, some New York divorce lawyers are seeing a surge in business as spouses (separately, of course) flock to take advantage of the state’s new no-fault divorce law.
The law, which came into effect on October 16, brings New York in line with all other 49 states by allowing individuals to file for divorce on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” provided that such a scenario has lasted for at least six months, and at least one spouse is willing to affirm that fact under oath.
Prior to October 16 — and for all ongoing divorce proceedings filed before that date — adivorce petition in New York had to meet one of the following criteria:
cruel and inhuman treatment;
abandonment for one or more years;
imprisonment for three or more consecutive years;
adultery (which can include “deviant sexual intercourse”)
the spouses have lived apart for one year, under either a separation agreement or a separation decree granted by a court.
“I’ve had many people…many people have called me, ‘can I get a divorce now?’ ‘Do I need grounds anymore?’ “I don’t have to prove cruel and inhuman treatment anymore?'” Utica matrimonial attorney Keith Eisenhut told WKTV. “Because you had to say very unpleasant things in divorce papers up until last week,” said Eisenhut.
However, despite predictions from groups such as the New York Catholic Conference that no-fault divorce will tear families apart, Eisenhut thinks that it will have the opposite effect, since couples no longer have to prove that the other is an awful person in order to get divorced.
“Who cares who did what? The mudslinging accomplished nothing except making people dislike each other more and waste the court’s time.” Eisenhut stated. “Now the court can focus on disposing of assets, addressing children, custody, visitation, I think they’re focusing on what’s really important in the dissolution of a marriage.”