Gawker right on the divorce but wrong on the law.
On the heel of the opening of his newest restaurant in Singapore (and the sale of his multi-million dollar Manhattan condo) famed celebrity chef Daniel Boulud and his wife Michelle Micky Palmer Boulud are calling it quits. Mrs. Boulud filed for an uncontested divorce. Gawker incorrectly defined an uncontested divorce as one where the parties have been “legally separated” for at least a year in New York:
Court records indicate she’s seeking an uncontested divorce, which means the couple needs to have already been legally separated for at least a year according to New York law. GAWKER
But that is not necessarily the law in New York. It is one of the ways to do it, of course. But one can obtain an uncontested divorce (or annulment) on any grounds recognized in New York State, so long as the other party does not contest. That is what makes it uncontested. That the other party does not contest.
In the Bouluds’ case, even if there was adultery, cruelty, or constructive abandonment but no legal separation, (and btw, a “legal separation” must be issued by the courts by judicial order; or by mutual signature of the parties, aka a stipulation of separation or “separation agreement” between the parties) either party could have commenced a divorce proceeding, and it could have been uncontested so long as the other party does not respond to the petition and come up with a defense to the grounds alleged in the divorce papers. Admittedly, some grounds are more litigious than others. If you accuse someone of adultery and cruelty, usually, he or she will contest, but not always. (Oh, with a “legal separation” the parties must live apart for a year and must substantially comply with the agreement in order to transmute the separation agreement into a divorce.)
It’s a technical point, but important for the folks over at Gawker to note: getting an “uncontested divorce” does not necessarily mean you have been “legal separated” for a year under New York Law. You could have been living under the same roof, not “legally separated,” and still get an uncontested divorce on a ground like, say, constructive abandonment, adultery and even cruelty, under New York law, so long as the other side does not contest.
But back to the Bouluds. They are splitsorama. Wow. Wasn’t there some nice dessert he could have made for her to make her change her mind?