Family Law Reform Blog
Thursday, March 22, 2007
  Yes, New York, You Do Have No-Fault Divorce

Lately, all kinds of journalists have been repeating the mantra that "New York doesn't have no-fault divorce", as in this story about the Gest-Minelli divorce. It's one of those things that everyone seems to believe, but which just ain't so. New York has no-fault divorce the way it was originally proposed -- based on the mutual decision of consenting adults. New York's no-fault ground is the first in this list of divorce grounds:

Grounds for Divorce in New York

- living apart for one year pursuant to separation decree, judgment or written agreement, with satisfactory proof of substantial performance of same.
- cruel or inhuman treatment (such that defendant's conduct so endangers plaintiff's physical or mental well-being as to render cohabitation unsafe or improper)
- abandonment by defendant for one year
- imprisonment of defendant for three consecutive years after marriage
- adultery by defendant
Code: Domestic Relations Law, ยง 170
 
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
  Utah enacts divorce prevention / trial separation package
Text of the legislation, as enacted

In March, 2007, Utah legislator Lorie Fowlke wrote to Smart Marriages:

I am an attorney and Utah state legislator, and attended your conference last year in Atlanta. I just passed the nation's first divorce orientation legislation, HB 128 and it has been funded! This bill is in addition to the already required 2 hour divorce education class for parents. The divorce orientation class is to help them understand the impacts of divorce, provide resources for strengthening their marriage, and resources to go through the divorce and deal with post-divorce issues with less pain, if they proceed. It also allows couples to file for a temporary separation, WITHOUT filing for divorce, for up to one year. During the separation, they must take the course. If they proceed with the divorce, the relatively small filing fee for the temporary separation is applied to the divorce filing fee. It passed the HOUSE unanimously and the Senate with only one dissenting vote. The court administrator's office is ready to begin implementation through the office that now administers the divorce education class for parents.

I would like people to know about this legislation so that they can introduce something similar in their state. I appreciate all that you do for marriage and families in this country.

Copy and paste this URL into your browser and you will have several options
to retrieve the text or even listen to committee and floor debates:
http://le.utah.gov/~2007/htmdoc/hbillhtm/HB0128S01.htm


Lorie D. Fowlke
Representative
District 59
Orem, Utah

Note: There is now a blog set up specificallyto track similar initiatives in Utah:
Utah Divorce Prevention News
 
News and comments on changes, problems and developments in family law, family structure, culture and policy.
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