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NY Joins Georgia, Other States, With Divorce Law Change

Georgia law provides for uncontested, no-fault divorces. Until recently, so did every other state in the country, except for one.

New York has now joined the fold, and most divorce experts say that it is about time. “There is a human cost and a financial one,” says Robert Ross, a New York judge, in referencing a requirement to find fault as a prerequisite to obtaining a divorce. Ross says that a “grounds” trial during which a divorcing couple had to prove fault was “not a good thing.”

Governor David Paterson’s signature to the no-fault bill made it state law going forward as of August 15. Prior to that, a couple either had to prove fault or live apart for one year before getting an uncontested divorce. Before that – until 1966 – the only way a New York couple could get a divorce in the state was to prove adultery.

Stephen Younger, the New York State Bar Association President, pointed to the resource savings related to the change. He says that the courts “will no longer have to waste resources litigating on whether a marriage should end, but will be able to better focus on issues such as the welfare of the children, fair division of marital assets and other economic concerns.”

In Georgia, a couple has long been allowed to obtain an uncontested divorce. While often simpler and certainly less acrimonious than is the case usually with a contested divorce, a couple must still agree on all the material issues regarding the end of the marriage. These can include child custody and support, the division of assets and spousal maintenance. An experienced family law attorney specializing in divorce matters can answer questions regarding uncontested divorce and related issues.

Related Resource: “Divorce Easier as New York Law Ends Need to Lie” August 16, 2010