From Controversial to Party Worthy: The Evolution of Divorce in New York

Times are changing. Although shows like Mad Men are a hit, viewers are not likely to return to many of the olden values of the fifties and sixties. In fact, Americans are continuing to evolve on how we view social issues that were once controversial. The latest example: Divorce Parties.

According to a recent article in Time Magazine, Divorce Parties are the latest rage trending throughout New York. New York magazine even ran a story discussing how companies throughout the city are specializing in organizing these parties, including supplies like decapitated groom cake toppers and just divorced sashes.

From divorce cakes to burning wedding dresses, newly single men and women are taking control of their lives and trying to make the best of a bad situation.

Divorce in New York

Before the celebration can begin, those seeking to obtain a divorce must complete the legalities. Those seeking a divorce in New York often begin by filing a document called The Complaint for Divorce with the New York Court. Essentially, this form requests that the court terminate the marriage.

In order to qualify, one of the following must apply:

  • The marriage is cruel and inhuman
  • Abandonment by a spouse for one or more years
  • Imprisonment of a spouse for at least three years
  • Adultery
  • Separation from spouse for at least one year
  • Irretrievable breakdown of relationship for at least six months

If granted, the next step is generally to determine how the couple's assets will be distributed. Ideally, the parties will develop an agreement. If the parties cannot agree, the court will divide the assets.

When the court is involved, it applies a process referred to as equitable distribution. This does not mean that each spouse receives one half of all the assets, but instead looks to provide a fair division. In order to determine what is fair, the court considers a wide array of factors. This includes the income of each person, the duration of the marriage, whether or not children are present, who will have custody and whether one spouse was wasteful with assets in anticipation of the upcoming divorce.

If children are present, the court will look to the best interest of the child to determine child custody and visitation. When awarding visitation rights, the court may also take grandparent visitation into consideration.

Although divorce is generally more socially acceptable now than it was in the fifties and sixties, navigating through New York's divorce laws continues to be difficult. If you or a loved one is going through a divorce, it is important to contact an experienced Manhattan divorce attorney to discuss your situation and better ensure your legal rights are protected.