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Contact: Maria Cilenti - Director of Legislative Affairs - mcilenti@nycbar.org - (212) 382-6655

SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION NEW YORK STATE SENATE MAJORITY TASK FORCE ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

PUBLIC HEARING: NO-FAULT DIVORCE AND MATRIMONIAL LAW REFORM MAY 6, 2010 SENATE HEARING ROOM, 19TH FLOOR, STATE OFFICE BUILDING 250 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, NY 10007

TESTIMONY OF PAMELA SLOAN, ESQ. MEMBER, ASSOCIATION OF THE BAR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK FORMER CHAIR, COMMITTEE ON MATRIMONIAL LAW

Good Afternoon. My name is Pam Sloan and I am a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and a former chair of the Association’s Matrimonial Law Committee. I have been a practicing matrimonial attorney in New York since 1980.

Thank you for the opportunity to present testimony in support of New York’s adoption of a no-fault bill. The Association is on record in full support of Senate Bill 3890, sponsored by Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson. This bill would allow for a judgment of divorce to be granted when a marriage is irretrievably broken for a period of at least six months, but only after resolution of issues such as the distribution of marital property, spousal support, child support, payment of counsel fees, and custody and visitation. Currently, New York law states that divorce can only be procured by alleging fault such as cruel and inhumane treatment, adultery, or abandonment.

Historically, New York has led the country in legal reform to ensure that its laws protect the welfare of its citizens. However, New York alone is stuck in the past when it comes to marriage. Every other state in the United States permits marriages to end without one spouse casting blame upon the other and rehashing the often harsh, painful and embarrassing reasons for the divorce. The fault requirements of the New York State statutes are more than just a reminder

THE ASSOCIATION OF THE BAR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK 42 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036-6689

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