No Fault Divorce in New York

What is “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”?

An irretrievable breakdown of the marriage allows one spouse, unilaterally, to end a marriage and to do so without the agreement of the other spouse. However, the 2010 law provides that a court cannot grant a judgment of divorce unless and until the economic issues of the marriage are dealt with.

To prove the ground of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage the party seeking the divorce must demonstrate that:

  • the relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably;
  • for a period of at least six months; 
  • provided that one spouse states this under oath; and 
  • proves that the “economic issues of equitable distribution of marital property, the payment or waiver of spousal support, the payment of child support, the payment of counsel and experts’ fees and expenses as well as the custody and visitation with the minor children of the marriage have been resolved by the parties, or determined by the court and incorporated into the judgment of divorce.”

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