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What is the difference between “Fault” and  “No fault” Divorce?

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Another option is that if the party does not feel that they can decide between them, would be to start a divorce action and put the matter before the court. By doing that, you may then end up having a judge decide the issues between you.

If one elects to file for divorce, under New York State Law, we are at one time called the Fault State, you had to allege fault against the other party, that still can be done. But New York has adopted a no fault provision. You now have the option of both. Main difference between going through a fault ground and a no fault divorce, under fault it’s a two step process. First you would have to prove your grounds for a divorce, whether you are alleging something such as cruel and inhumane treatment, and if you were successful then the second phase of the hearing would be the determination of equitable distribution.

If the parties elected to go on a no fault divorce, which is called irretrievable breakdown of the marriage in New York, what the court has to do is decide everything all at once. What the court also now has to decide is how all the assets and liabilities get divided between the parties. So in that situation it’s not a two step process, it’s one step where everything is decided all at once.

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