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Roberta K. Feldman

Understanding Divorce & Separation: No-Fault Divorce in New York

Roberta Feldman explains the basics of divorce in NY and the options for resolving issues

Watch Roberta Feldman in this video or read the transcript below.

My name is Roberta Feldman. I am an attorney with Gray & Feldman. I have been practicing law for over 30 years concentrating in family law. Today I am going to talk to you about no-fault divorce. In New York, no-fault has only been in existence since 2010. So prior to that time NY was one of only 2 states that did not recognize no fault divorce. So the actual grounds are called irretrievable breakdown. And one spouse or the other has to testify or swear to the truth that on an affidavit that the marriage is irretrievably broken and has been for 6 months or more. However that still means that you and your spouse have to resolve all of your differences, all of your issues involving children, custody, parenting, visitation, and of course financial issues as well.  And there are a number of different ways that can happen. 

The most adversarial is to go to court and have a judge decide, which is very rare that a case actually goes to trial. So the least adversarial is what I call the kitchen table approach, and that’s where you and your spouse, it could be a kitchen table , it could be a couch, it could be the local coffee shop – you and your spouse sit down and decide about those issues I previously talked about. Next is mediation where you have one trained professional who is a neutral in these areas and that mediator is there to help both of you resolve those issues. With a mediator, you can still use an attorney as a second opinion in order to have someone there who you know is advocating for you. A third way to resolve your difference is through collaborative law. 

Collaborative law is a fairly new process where you and your spouse and your attorney commit to resolving your case around a table, and you commit to meeting together for as long as it takes to solve your issues without going to court. And the last one before court is what is called traditional negotiation, and that what might be the most familiar where you think about attorneys writing letters back and forth talking to each other on the phone trying to convince one or the other why your position is the stronger the position. And you might make compromises along the way in order to come to resolution. At that point, you through your attorney would prepare a written agreement which would settle all of those issues in the proper way. 

Thank you for watching our office is conveniently located in Penfield NY. If you would like more information you can visit our website at or call at 585-218-8620. We offer an initial consultation at a reduced price.

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