Fortunately for Kim Kardashian, she is not a resident of New York


As most have heard by now, Kim Kardashian, a member of the growing sorority of celebutantes (those who are famous for being famous), has filed for divorce only 72 days after a very public and costly (estimates have placed it at $10 million) wedding. She filed on October 31, 2011, citing “irreconcilable differences”. Fortunately for her, she does not live in New York, or she would be told, “Sorry, it’s too soon for you to seek a divorce!”. Barely more than one year ago, in October, 2010, New York joined the rest of the country in providing its citizens the ability to seek a divorce by alleging a “no fault” ground. However, New York’s “no fault” divorce differs from that in California in a very significant way in circumstances such as Kim Kardashian’s. While California, and most other states, allow the filing of a divorce on the basis of “irreconcilable differences”, New York’s newly adopted “no fault” law provides for a divorce where one party alleges an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage for a “period of six months or more”. Kim made it just over two months. It would therefore have been impossible for her to seek a “no fault” divorce in New York without waiting another four months. Her only alternative, were she a resident of New York, would have been to allege a “fault” divorce, such as cruel and inhuman treatment or adultery. Even the ground of abandonment would not have worked because there is a one-year period that must pass between the abandonment and the commencement of the divorce proceeding. Therefore, while New York has taken some great strides with its passage of the “no fault” divorce in October, 2010, the wording of the law still leaves some in a “marital purgatory” if they wish to seek a “no fault” divorce and have not put sufficient time into their marriage.

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