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No-Fault Divorce in New York

In 2010, New York became the last state in the country to pass a no-fault divorce law, allowing spouses to file for a marital dissolution simply by asserting that their relationship was “irretrievably broken.” Prior to passage of the new law, petitioners for divorce would have to allege grounds, such as:

  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Abandonment by the other spouse for at least a year
  • Imprisonment of the other spouse for three or more years
  • Adultery
  • Living separately under a judgment of separation for at least a year
  • Living separately under a legal separation agreement for at least a year

Some of these traditional grounds required the petitioner to prove facts that could discredit the responding spouse. That could mean revealing intimate details about the marriage that created a scandal damaging to both parties. The alternative was to delay dissolution for at least a year while the couple lived in separate households or, under certain circumstances, lived separately under one roof.

The 2010 law freed petitioners from these constraints and gave them greater privacy protections. A petitioner does not have to prove facts that persuade the court that the relationship has broken down and there is no hope for reconciliation. 

A no-fault divorce should not be confused with an uncontested divorce. No-fault grounds simply allow the divorce to go forward. That doesn’t mean the spouses won’t have to litigate ancillary issues, such as child custody, child support, spousal maintenance or property division. But filing no-fault can make it easier to negotiate a settlement of those issues, since the divorce begins on a less antagonistic footing.

If you are considering divorce in the Buffalo area, the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis provides aggressive representation. Call us at 716-886-9600 or contact our office online to schedule a consultation.

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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.

Reviews & Ratings
  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy Margulis is knowledgable of Domestic Law, dedicated, responsive, personable, aggressive and effective. I came to him on a friend's recommendation as well as Randy's reputation, and during the initial consultation I liked his approach and track ...

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  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    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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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy is very firm and effective in court while empathetic to his clients. I am a domestic violence victim, and Randy made me feel safe and protected. My financial award was more than I envisioned it to be when I started my divorce. I can't thank ...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Mr Margulis was one of the nicest attorneys I have ever had the privilege to speak to. He knows what he is doing and saying. I chose him because he was reassuring, respectful and understanding. He made my divorce easy, without regret and civil.I appr...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy was referred to me. I am so glad I chose him to represent me. He was efficient and extremely knowledgeable. I would recommend him to anyone and have recommended him to a friend of a friend.

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