Thursday, March 29, 2007

New York's Outdated Divorce Laws

New York is the only state that does not have no-fault divorce. Couples in that state that want to divorce quickly without blame are out of luck.

From the Associated Press:

New York is the only state that won't allow the speedy dissolution of a marriage without proof that one spouse is somehow at fault, experts say. Adultery is sufficient grounds, but irreconcilable differences are not. "He beats me" (with proof) works, but "We grew apart" doesn't cut it.

The system has been ridiculed as hopelessly outdated, and sometimes results in endless litigation and spouses leaving the state to evade the law. This week, in what some see as more proof of the law's absurdity, a jury denied the bickering Taubs a divorce."I think it's an anachronistic, completely inefficient process," said Bernard Clair, a divorce lawyer.

"Today, divorce is really about dividing an economic partnership. The dirty laundry aspects play no role except to jazz up the clients and distract them from the real issues of the case."Under New York divorce law, couples can split up without either spouse being assigned blame, but only if they first sign a division-of-property agreement and live apart for a year.

Couples who want to end a marriage more quickly than that have been known to lie, move or tarnish their own reputations.If the desire for a divorce is mutual, but neither side wants to wait a year, one common ruse is to have one party take the blame.

A popular ground is "constructive abandonment," in which one spouse alleges the other won't have sex. The other spouse agrees not to contest the allegation.

Not all Dems happy with Military Funding Bill

Not every Democrat is celebrating the passage of the House version of the Military Funding bill. Dennis Kucinich makes his views known in this article found at the video blog Ravel Babel:
Another sore point with Kucinich is that the bill "sets the stage for the privatization of Iraq’s ... oil industry.

"To have the Democratic Party involved in something like that is outrageous," he said. "Furthermore, we should be pushing for the stabilization of Iraq’s food and energy crisis. There’s no talk about that. Basically we’re blaming Iraq for the disaster that the United States and this administration visited upon them. We’re telling them, either they’re going to get their house in order or we’re going to leave. Well, you know what, this approach is wrongheaded and the Democrats should have known better and they should have done better."
Read the Rest