The New York State Bar Association listed no-fault divorce as one of its key legislative priorities for 2007.
As I previously detailed, New York is the only state that does not have a no-fault grounds for divorce. The absence of a true no fault divorce has often resulted in costly legal proceedings and bitter custody fights even in cases where both spouses want a divorce.
The Bar Association is advocating a grounds of divorced based upon the "irretrievable breakdown" of the marriage. According to Bar Association President Mark Alcott, this would address problems associated with finding fault in a divorce. This leads to increased litigation costs and worsens confrontations between the spouses, according to the association.
New Jersey recently approved an irretrievable breakdown of six months as a basis for divorce.
Also on the domestic relations front, the State Bar wants the Legislature to provide either a domestic partner registry, civil union law, or an amendment to the definition of marriage to give same-sex couples the same legal rights as married heterosexuals.