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New York State Divorce—It’s Business, Not Personal

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This week Buffalo Business First featured an article entitled, “Divorce – It’s Business, Not Personal”, written by Steven Wiseman, a New York matrimonial attorney. The article focused on New York’s divorce system and the unhappiness it causes many divorcing spouses. “There is a simple reason why many people going through a divorce are unhappy with how the ‘system’ works. They want it to be something that it is not, akin to insisting that the round peg goes into the square hole.”

Put simply, Mr. Wiseman explains that many divorcing spouses are unhappy with the system because of the switch to no-fault divorce. Prior to 2010, New York divorces were granted only on fault grounds, such as cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery or abandonment. However, starting in October 2010, no fault divorce was put into effect in New York. No-fault means that a couple need not prove any instances of wrongdoing in order to file for divorce; couples can file to terminate their marriages for the sole reason that the relationship has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months.

While it is not irrational to think, “he cheated on me, so make him pay for it”, in the eyes of the court, this is most often irrelevant. Except in very rare instances, the court does not take into consideration at whose doing did the marriage fall apart. When it comes to who gets what in divorce, there is a long list of statutory factors for the court to consider, but not one of those factors addresses which party was at fault.

“The longer a party to a divorce ‘seeks justice’ for the transgressions of his or her spouse, the longer the divorce is going to take, the more expensive it is going to be, the more energy will be unnecessarily expended and the greater the stress and frustration will be. Conversely, the sooner the party comes to grips with the fact that to New York State and its judges who decide divorce cases, its business, not personal, the sooner he or she can move on.”

The key to success in a contested divorce case is preparation and building your team, which starts with an experienced matrimonial attorney. Experienced matrimonial attorneys understand and are sympathetic as what his or her client is going through. However, it is essential to remember that your case is not going to be decided based upon your spouse’s unfaithfulness, abandonment or cruel treatment, except in extraordinary circumstances.

If you or a loved one is considering filing for divorce or is interested in learning more about how to proceed, contact the Law Offices of Jay D. Raxenberg today. With over two decades of experience, we recognize that our clients are going through a difficult time in their lives, and we ensure they are provided with the level of compassion and respect they deserve. Please call (516) 491-0565 or toll free at (888) 543-4867.

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