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New York State Senate Approves No-Fault Divorce

The New York Senate passed a bill last week that will make no-fault divorce a legal option in the state. The bill passed 32 to 39, and now goes to the State Assembly for approval, reports WNYC Radio. According to the New York Times, winning support in the Senate has given the legislation momentum, and there is now a “high likelihood” it will pass in the state Assembly. The proposed legislation would enable couples to get a divorce if the marriage was “irretrievably broken for a period of six months,” without any fault being assigned, reports NBC. Child custody, child support, alimony, division of assets, and all other financial disputes must be taken care of prior to receiving the divorce. Current divorce law in the state requires that one party show strong grounds for divorce – cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery, or abandonment – or the couple be legally separated for one year, reports the New York Times. New York is the last state to adopt a no-fault divorce law. According to the New York Times, the state Senate passed two other bills last week relating to divorce law. The first would require judges to decide at the beginning of a trial whether or not the wealthier spouse would be required to pay for the other party’s legal counsel. The law is designed to give both spouses equal access to divorce attorneys. The measure passed in the Assembly in May and now awaits the Governor’s signature. The second bill would standardize the way judges award support payments. According to the Times, the law would remove a large portion of the “uncertainty” that currently plagues divorce trials in the state. This bill now goes to the Assembly for debate.

Sources:

WNYC Radio 6/16/10; New York Times 6/15/10; NBC 6/16/10

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