N.Y. nears no-fault divorce. Welcome to the last century.
Try breaking that lockstep, folks!
New York took a major step towards becoming the last state in the country to adopt no-fault divorce as the State Senate approved legislation that would permit couples to separate by mutual consent, a major shift with sweeping implications for families and lawyers.
For decades, New Yorkers have has been bedeviled by longstanding divorce laws that critics said spurred endless litigation and bitter custody fights that were both unnecessary and cruel.
Under current divorce law, one spouse must take the blame, even if both sides agree that a marriage cannot be saved. Instead a spouse must allege cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery, or abandonment for one year before a court can grant a divorce.
Efforts to change those laws have been turned back repeatedly over the years, even as other states moved over time to liberalize their matrimonial laws to include some version of no-fault divorce. Opponents included the Catholic Church, which objects to making divorce easier, as well as some women’s advocates, who have feared that no-fault divorce would inflict unfair economic burdens on women…
Mostly the Church; but, perish the thought the NYT offends the pope.
The newest legislation must still pass the State Assembly, which is considering two different bills that would include some version of no-fault divorce, as well as some related legislation.
But advocates said on Tuesday that they believed that victory in the Senate, which was controlled by Republicans until last year, gave the measure momentum and a high likelihood of gaining approval in the Assembly, which is also controlled by Democrats.
“I think that the main hurdle is here,” said Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a Democrat from Westchester and the Bronx who was the chief Senate sponsor of the bill, before the vote. The vote passed 32-27, according to an unofficial tally, with all but two Democrats joined by two Republicans in support.
Which proves that New York Republicans play the game of opportunist politics to please reactionary religions better than do the Democrats. Too bad the citizens of that state have been the losers in that corrupt contest for all these years.