An official New York State panel is calling for the state to adopt “no-fault” divorce laws similar to those found in many other states. According to The New York Times,
By not allowing couples to end their marriages by mutual consent, New York has kept some of the strictest barriers to divorce in the nation. Currently, one party in the divorce must allege cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery, or abandonment — literal or sexual — for a year. That rule has often resulted in costly legal proceedings and bitter custody fights in cases where both sides want a divorce.
The Matrimonial Commission, which was appointed by the state’s chief judge in 2004 and has taken testimony around the state, called for a range of changes to bring New York’s matrimonial laws more in line with practices around the United States. In addition to allowing no-fault divorces, the panel called for an emphasis on mediation and procedures to move cases more swiftly through the system.
No-fault divorce has been a disaster for millions of couples and familes. Note carefully the way the issue is framed witin the Times. The need for no-fault divorce is explained by pointing to acrimony between divorcing spouses and frustration when “both sides want a divorce.”
In the first place, obstacles to divorce were put into place precisely to slow down the process in hopes of saving some marriages from divorce. No-Fault divorce just makes divorce available, virtually on demand. And, we must add, on demand even by just one spouse. Millions of men and women have found themselves divorced simply beasue their spouse decided it would be so — end of story. That, along with millions of broken homes, is the true legacy of no-fault divorce.