Albany, NY, September 4, 2010 — Divorce in New York just got more fair. Governor Paterson has signed a bill affecting spouse financial support during divorces. Before the new law, a judge arbitrarily decided how much financial support the lower earning spouse received. Now judges have a formula they will use, which will bring consistency and fairness to divorces in New York. This is happening as the Empire State becomes one of the last states to pass a no fault divorce law.
"Far too often the primary caregivers of children and spouses in long-time marriages with dim prospects of becoming self-supporting fall into poverty after divorce," said Catherine Douglass, Executive Director of inMotion, an organization that provides free legal services to low-income women in New York City. Douglass says the law will revolutionize divorce in the Empire State, making the process more fair, quicker and much less traumatic.
The bill also directs judges to take into consideration the difficulty a spouse might have getting a job, because of their age or the number of years they have been absent from the workforce. In addition, judges will now be sure to look at whether a spouse is taking care of children or an elderly parent.
The effort to change the law was spearheaded by New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin. Legal analysts say the law will help bring to light, the financial realities of divorce for men and women. "Assemblywoman Paulin is a champion on issues affecting low-income women and victims of domestic violence, and the passage of this bill is a tremendous victory for these
women," said Emily Ruben of the Legal Aid Society.