Prof. Eric Freedman Contributes to No-Fault Divorce Law Discussion

Eric M. Freedman, Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law


Further Discussion of No-Fault Divorce and Due Process

By Eric M. Freedman

New York Law Journal

March 16, 2011




Readers of these pages have recently been treated to the spectacle of a clash of experts regarding New York’s new no-fault divorce law. As a certified non-expert, I venture to suggest that neither of the views so far presented is entirely persuasive. Timothy Tippins in “No-Fault, Divorce and Due Process” (NYLJ, March 3) has opined that the statute did not intend to cut off the right of the defendant to contest the allegation that the marriage had irretrievably broken down and that if so read it would be an unconstitutional denial of due process to the defendant.


Several other experts responded in a letter, “Jurisdiction, Due Process and No-Fault Divorce” (NYLJ, March 14) that the statute did indeed intend to preclude litigation over the fact of marital breakdown and is constitutional. The letter contends that since the Legislature was not required to permit any judicial divorces at all it has exclusive “authority to establish the predicates for exiting [a] marriage” and hence no due process issues arise unless it acts “irrationally or in a discriminatory manner.”


Read the full letter at law.com.

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