What if I do not want to blame anyone in my New York divorce?

Many people want to keep their divorces private, and New York state provides an option for those whose marriages have broken down irretrievably.

M any people think that New York is a state in which one person in a divorcing party must accept fault, for example, on the grounds of adultery or cruelty. However, assigning blame or accepting blame can be uncomfortable and even misleading. The good news is that while at-fault divorces are possible in New York, no-fault divorce has been an option since 2010.

Broken down irretrievably

Many states use the phrase "irreconcilable differences." In New York, the phrase to use to avoid assigning blame is at least six months of the marriage being "broken down irretrievably."

It is not necessarily smooth sailing to get a judgment on these grounds, however. For one thing, the couple must have resolved issues such as child support/custody and the division of assets, or had the court resolve them. One of the divorcing parties must also swear to the six-month breakdown of the relationship.

In a nutshell, many people who are divorcing would rather not blame anyone and want to keep quiet about the reasons behind the divorce. By saying that the marriage is "broken down irretrievably," it is possible to do so.

The person filing for divorce is called the plaintiff. The other party is called the defendant.

Separation first

It is also possible to avoid assigning fault by getting a divorce after having been legally separated. One disadvantage here is that both couples must live apart while separated, which is not always possible for economic reasons or other reasons. Another possible disadvantage is that a lawyer is almost always necessary to draw up a valid separation agreement.

At-fault grounds

The at-fault grounds for divorce in New York include imprisonment, if one party has been in prison for at least three years since the marriage began. Other grounds include cruel and inhuman treatment such as in cases of abuse. It is possible, however, for a divorce to not be granted on this basis if the abuse or domestic violence cannot be proved or if the examples occurred more than five years ago. Adultery is another at-fault ground, and like cruel and inhuman treatment, can be difficult to prove.

Abandonment is another possibility, and it can take several forms. For example, there is not having sex with a spouse for one year or physically moving away from the spouse for one year.

Obviously, filing for divorce under an at-fault ground can be embarrassing for both plaintiff and defendant and even harmful to children. Fortunately, other options are possible now in New York state, and an attorney can help those considering divorce decide which option is best for them.