No-fault divorce

Posted over 3 years ago. Applies to Washington, 1 helpful vote



What is a no-fault divorce

It's a divorce where neither party is required to, or allowed to blame the other party for the disintegration of the marriage. There are no accusations and no need to prove marital misconduct or "guilt." The basis for a no-fault divorce is "irreconcilable difference" or "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage." The court will grant the divorce, but will not assign blame. Washington is a no-fault divorce state. The only grounds for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. There is no burden of proof. If the Petitioner states that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court will grant the divorce, even if objected to by the Respondent.


What does the law provide for no-fault divorce?

No-fault divorce is considered a more humane and realistic way to end a marriage. Parties who are divorcing are usually suffering enough without adding more fuel to the emotional fires by trying to prove who did what to whom. The laws of no-fault divorce recognize that human relationships are complex and that it is difficult to prove that a marriage broke down solely because of what one person did. The Court will only consider the issues and terms of the divorce, not the misconduct or reason for the divorce.

Additional Resources

Berner Law Group, PLLC

Rate this guide

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

No-fault divorce

A no-fault divorce is one in which all that is needed to end the marriage is a claim, by either spouse, that the marriage has broken down.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

33,727 answers this week

3,648 attorneys answering