No Fault Divorce Guide
If you live in a no fault divorce state, it may be possible to use your state's divorce laws as the sole ground for obtaining a divorce decree.
The No Fault Fast Divorce Pathway
A no fault divorce does not require a finding by the divorce court that one (or both) party(ies) is at fault. No fault divorce law allows a divorce regardless of who is a fault.
In a no fault divorce state, the divorce papers need only recite the technical term of art ("irreconcilable differences", "irremediable breakdown of the marriage") recognized by the state as a ground for the divorce. One spouse cannot stop a no fault divorce. Legal logic holds that the assertion itself, that there should not be a divorce, is additional proof that the marriage has irreconcilably broken down.
Unique State Divorce Laws To Review
About 30% of the states allow only no fault divorces. Most states allow both fault and no fault divorces.
A fault divorce is where one of the parties is deemed to be at fault for such behavior as adultery or desertion. One of the differences between the two types of divorces is that there is no waiting period for a fault divorce whereas there may be a waiting period involving separation in some states before a no fault divorce becomes effective.
Under the divorce law of some states, proof of fault may increase the portion of the marital assets awarded to the non-offending spouse or even increase the amount of alimony given.
It is more likely that couples can get a no fault divorce without having to retain divorce attorneys. A no fault divorce does not require the parties to go into court and prove that the other party is at fault. The lower no fault divorce standard ("irreconcilable differences" or "irremediable breakdown of the marriage") has a much lower threshold of proof in a divorce court making it easier for the parties to establish the primae facia grounds for divorce.
Many do-it-yourself divorce forms have been drafted particularly for no fault divorces, further facilitating such divorces without the need for divorce attorneys.
No fault divorce laws have been a double edged sword. There have been more, quicker divorces as a result of the introduction of no fault divorce laws. Divorces are easier to get and cost less.
Some advocacy groups claim that women are bearing the financial burden of no fault divorce laws because marital assets tend to be more equitably distributed (50/50). Under fault divorces, there is a higher proportion of marital assets awarded to the party less at fault in the opinion of the divorce court.
Others assert that the economic emphasis of the anti-no fault divorce argument overlooks the positive effects on women who can get a quick, cost effective means of escaping an unwanted marriage gone bad.