Divorce Rate Up Since No Fault Divorce Enacted in New York

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According to a study, there has been a 12 percent increase in divorce filings since no fault divorce went into effect in New York in October 2010. The study compares divorce filings over the same seven month period last year.

Rather than falsely assuming that the floodgates have opened and that no-fault divorce encourages divorce, I think the increase in divorce filings is readily explainable.

During the period between the time the no fault divorce law was enacted and became effective, I suspect divorce filings were down. I certainly held off on filing for divorce in cases in which grounds would be an issue; in such cases, I waited until after the effective date of no fault divorce to file. In one instance, I even discontinued a case in which a grounds trial had been scheduled in order that it could re-commenced after no fault divorce became effective. By waiting until after the effective date of the no fault divorce statute to file, my client was able to completely avoid the trial and the issue of grounds.

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