New York remains the last state in the union to require fault-based grounds for a contested divorce.
So it should come as no surprise that, in order to issue an order of protection against domestic violence, New York state has required the parties to be currently or previously married, parents of a common child or blood relatives.
But New York is now becoming one of the last states to afford the protection of restraining orders to dating partners, whether gay or heterosexual.
The bill’s sponsor has been pursuing its passage for twenty years. Better late than never.
Previously, the only remedy for those in many violent intimate relationships in New York was the police and criminal court. Not only did that make it harder to win protection, but it also deterred many from even going through with seeking protection – especially young people.
Going forward, it will be possible for an intimate partner or relative in New York state to obtain relief in family court, with family court’s lower civil burden of proof than criminal court, without having to deal with the police or a prosecutor.
Florida has made similar legal protection from repeat violence, dating violence and sexual violence available for several years, in addition to pre-existing protection available against domestic violence.