The New York Post published and article yesterday that stated that New York has a massive backlog of divorce cases. I thought this was interesting because of the reasons they cited for causing the backlog of divorce cases.
The New York Post stated that the reason for the massive backlog of divorce cases in New York was due to the fact that in 2010, New York went from a state where you had to prove fault “Fault-State” such as cruelty or infidelity to a no-fault state which simply means you can get divorced without the need for having a reason.
There are three things I wanted to comment on here. First, is that there are several states in the U.S. that are still fault states; states where you have to prove the other person did something wrong in order to get divorced. I just find this to be so wrong. Maybe it is because I live in California and deal with divorce everyday where couples file for divorce without the need for posing a reason.
In fact, in my book, “Why You Don’t Need A Divorce Attorney“, I even speak about how odd it would be if you had to really have a reason to file for divorce and that many couples getting a divorce cannot really put a finger on why they are getting divorce, just that they are “not happy”.
No imagine that these people that had no real reason to file for divorce could not get divorced for “not happy” but had to prove that “something happened” such is the case in New York and other “Fault” divorce states.
The second thing I wanted to comment about is the backlog they say is occurring now that they are a no-fault state. This just goes to show that there are many people out there that are not happy in their marriage but where something has not really “happened” to cause it, but they are still not happy enough to stay in the marriage.
These people in these unhappy relationships are forced to remain married simply because of the laws of the land they live in that says they have to remain married. Sort of makes you want to investigate a States policy on divorce before you move there, doesn’t it.
The last thing I wanted to state is about the backlog. In California, we have always had a backlog of divorce cases. This is for 2 reasons. First, the court’s are under staffed. I know when I worked for the Divorce Courts in the San Fernando Court which is is now in Chatsworth Superior Court, the Court’s calendars were so full that it would take about a year to get to trial for your case.
And this is just one problem. The other issue is in regards to California’s 6 month “Cooling Off Period” which states that your divorce cannot be completed any sooner than 6 months. I think that this is a good policy for those people that get upset with their spouse and run out and file for divorce. What would happen if you could divorce in a day? There are many people that make this mistake and would have to be married if this policy was not in place.
But what about those people that have been separated for many years? I have many clients who have been separated for a year, 2 years and even 10 years or longer. How silly is it that those people should have to wait for 6 months to get divorced. Obviously, they have had plenty of time to think about it.
I believe that there should be an exemption for those people who want to file for divorce and who have already separated. They should be able to file for divorce and not have to with the 6 months in this case I believe. And I know that people in this position would agree with me because when I tell them they have to wait 6 months for their divorce to be finalized, they always ask, “Why, if we have already been living apart for X amount of years?”
In any event, I thought this was an interesting article in the New York Post which you can find here to read the entire article and wanted to add my 2 cents.