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Meeting the No-Fault Divorce Criteria in New York

New York became the last state in the country to adopt a no-fault ground for divorce in October, 2010.  Irretrievable breakdown is now the divorce ground of choice for couples seeking a low-conflict, lower cost avenue toward divorce.

That said, divorce based on irretrievable breakdown still has requirements. You must resolve related marital issues before the granting of a divorce.  Criteria for granting divorce under the no-fault ground include:

  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship for six months
  • Statement under oath by one party as to the breakdown
  • Judgment of divorce granted only after resolution by the parties, or the court, of issues of equitable distribution of property, spousal maintenance, child custody and support, and payment of legal fees

In interpreting the no-fault standard so far, New York case law continues to examine the unilateral right of a spouse to swear to the breakdown of marriage.  A recent case, Sorrentino v Sorrentino, granted divorce to the plaintiff based on her statement of the unsalvageable nature of her marriage for the prescribed period of six months, and because agreement on economic issues had been reached.

Although the ground itself was not well-defined by the legislature, irretrievable breakdown gives my clients an easier, less stressful path toward divorce when the marriage relationship has clearly ended.

Nonetheless, issues might arise, especially if the divorce is unwanted by one party.  If considering divorce, get experienced legal advice to make sure your marriage ends on the right ground.

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Randy S. Margulis
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As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 25 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.

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    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

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    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

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    Found Mr. Margulis to be a very organized and professional individual to work with. He is well-respected by his peers and is spoken of highly, I believe this helped with my divorce and made things go smoothly. I would highly recommend his services ...

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