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Nassau County Judge Says There Is No Defense to "No Fault" Divorce

A recent New York Law Journal article, published on April 7, 2011, reports that a Nassau County Supreme Court matrimonial judge (Anthony J. Falanga) decided in a case before him that "a spouses 'self-serving declaration about his or her state of mind' is enough to dissolve a marriage under New York's recently enacted no-fault law". 
In other words, under the new portion of Domestic Relations Law Section 170(7), one spouse can declare under oath that the marriage has irretrievable broken and the other spouse does not have any defense to such an affirmative statement. 
Judge Falanga stated that the New York State Legislature intended such a result when it enacted the new law, which became effective in October 2010. 
"Staying married, against the wishes of the other adult who states under oath that the marriage is irretrievably broker, is not a vested right, Justice Falanga wrote. 
There, the no-fault divorce law was intended to have no challenge. 
However, there is an upstate New York matrimonial judge who set down for a jury trial the "no-fault" ground (DRL Sec. 170(7)) for divorce. (See our previous blog entry). 
So, we presently have two New York State matrimonial trial judges disagreeing on whether the no-fault law allows a challenge to the ground of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for more than six months before the filing of the action for divorce. 

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