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Divorce, American-style: No-fault is now the law in all 50 states

Consumer Reports News: October 13, 2010 02:18 PM

No-fault divorce became the law yesterday in New York state, making it now possible to file for a split in any state in the union, without having to show fault by one partner. The Empire State was the last state to pass a no-fault divorce law. Such a move could make breaking up much less expensive for many New Yorkers.

Whether that now will result in a new flood of divorces isn't clear; some news reports said lawyers were seeing a deluge of new clients yesterday, while others said would-be exes were holding back.

Anyone considering a split needs to look beyond the emotional to the financial, ideally well before the papers are filed. That includes getting copies of all relevant financial and legal documents and storing them where your spouse can't get them; creating a budget as a single person or single parent; and—of course—closing all joint accounts. For more on divorce financial planning, check out "If divorce strikes" and "Splitting up your retirement funds" from Consumer Reports Money Adviser.

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