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No-fault divorce

A no-fault divorce is the quickest way to end a marriage, allowing couples to avoid blame and focus on the outcome of the divorce.

No-fault divorce overview

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A no-fault divorce is a simplified divorce, allowing couples to avoid blame and focus on the legal outcomes of the divorce. By contrast, families with a complex angle or certain spiritual convictions may still opt for the fault-based grounds in some states, but will be required to present evidence of wrongdoing.

What is no-fault divorce?

In a no-fault divorce, a couple can simply claim “irreconcilable differences” in order to file for divorce. A no-fault divorce is the fastest option for people seeking a divorce, since neither party is required to prove that the other is to blame for ending the marriage.

Which states have no-fault divorce laws?

Presently, all 50 states offer some form of no-fault divorce option within the domestic law code. Some states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia only offer no-fault divorce.

Other states offer both no-fault divorce and fault-based divorce, and couples must decide which option best suits their situation. The no-fault option is preferable for many couples who have mutually agreed to split and would like to obtain a divorce decree as quickly as possible.

Reasons to seek alternatives

However, although rarely used, fault-based divorce may be appropriate in some scenarios depending on the unique family dynamic. The most common reasons for seeking a fault-based divorce include:

Religious convictions. Some religiously devout families oppose the concept of divorce, and the fault-based route may be the only acceptable way to pursue marital dissolution, particularly in cases of neglect or abuse.

Unfair treatment. If one spouse suffered extensively during the marriage, whether due to adultery, domestic violence, or similar marital fouls, a fault-based divorce may be preferable.

Keep in mind that pursuing fault-based divorce has the potential to backfire. Some people attempt a fault-based divorce in other to get even with their spouse, but the accused may serve a counter-petition that accuses the other party to be at fault. This move ends up costing both parties extra time and money to litigate their case.

If you chose to pursue a fault-based divorce, it is essential to have legal representation along with credible evidence to prove your claim.

James Richard Cook II | Apr 26, 2019

Grounds for Divorce in Tennessee

Ground One (1) Either party, at the time of the contract, was and still is naturally impotent and incapable of procreation. Ground Two (2) Either party has knowingly entered into a second marriage, in violation of a previous marriage, still subsisting. This is also known as "bigamy". Ground Three (3) Either party has committed adultery. *Note: There are certain defenses to this ground. Ground Four (4) Willful or malicious desertion or absence of either party, without a reasonable cause, for one (1) whole year. Ground Five (5) Being convicted of any crime that, by the laws of the state, renders the party infamous. Ground Six (6) Being convicted of a crime that, by the laws of the state, is declared to be a felony, and sentenced to confinement in the penitentiary. Ground Seven (7) Either party has attempted the life of the other, by poison or any other means showing malice. Ground Eight (8) Refusal, on the part of a spouse, to remove with that person's spouse to this state, without a reasonable cause, and being willfully absent from the spouse residing in Tennessee for two (2) years. Ground Nine (9) The woman was pregnant at the time of the marriage, by another person, without the knowledge of the husband. Ground Ten (10) Habitual drunkenness or abuse of narcotic drugs of either party, when the spouse has contracted either such habit after marriage. Ground Eleven (11) The husband or wife is guilty of such cruel and inhuman treatment or conduct towards the spouse as renders cohabitation unsafe and improper, which may also be referred to in pleadings as inappropriate marital conduct. Note: This is one of the most popular grounds for divorce in Tennessee. Ground Twelve (12) The husband or wife has offered such indignities to the spouse's person as to render the spouse's position intolerable, and thereby forced the spouse to withdraw; Ground Thirteen (13) The husband or wife has abandoned the spouse or turned the spouse out of doors for no just cause, and has refused or neglected to provide for the spouse while having the ability to so provide; Ground Fourteen (14) Irreconcilable differences between the parties. *Note: This ground is considered a 'no-fault' ground. Ground Fifteen (15) For a continuous period of two (2) or more years that commenced prior to or after April 18, 1985, both parties have lived in separate residences, have not cohabited as man and wife during such period, and there are no minor children of the parties.

David C. Frangos | Feb 11, 2019

No Fault Divorce in Indiana: How Does It Work and Do I Need a Lawyer to Represent Me?

History Unlike fifty years ago, divorce is much more common today than it has ever been. From both a cultural and social point of view, divorce is not only easier to obtain but is viewed with less stigma than it used to be in the days when it was rare to meet someone who had been divorced and this was something that a person would be ashamed of or even try to hide. The law has changed to reflect this new reality in order to make divorce easier from both a procedural, financial and emotional perspective for a couple that no longer wants to stay married. This is particularly true in Indiana, which has a higher divorce rate according to U.S. Census Bureau data at 12.5% as compared with a national rate across the United States of 10.9%. This means that 12.5% of adults aged 15 or older across the Hoosier State are divorced as compared with 10.9% of adults across the United States as a whole. There is now no-fault divorce as the rule in the majority of states in the United States, including in Indiana, instead of at-fault divorces where parties are required to prove that good cause exists for the divorce. This old system required proving, for instance, that one spouse was or had been unfaithful to the other or had secretly drained joint bank accounts to finance a gambling addiction or some other similar sordid tale. Divorce used to be an expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining affair for couples that simply no longer wanted to be married to one another without having to explain why their relationship no longer worked in intimate detail to a strange judge who would then divide up the couple*s assets in an often arbitrary and punitive manner. However, even though the process is now much less charged and adversarial than it used to be, it is nevertheless still important to have an experienced Indiana family law attorney in your corner to assist you through the divorce process in order to make sure that your interests are adequately protected. Given that divorce is a time when ownership of many joint assets that may have been accumulated over decades through the joint efforts of both spouses are divided up and responsibility for joint obligations like mortgages or student loans taken out in connection with paying a child*s college tuition are assigned, having an experienced family law attorney on your side will not only assist in making sure the process goes as smoothly as possible but will also ensure that you emerge from a tumultuous time in as good a position as can be expected. David Frangos of Frangos Legal is an experienced Indiana family law attorney who has worked with clients in both the most difficult of divorces as well as more amicable proceedings to ensure their interests are protected every step along the way. What Are the Steps to a No-Fault Divorce in Indiana? Obtaining a no-fault divorce in Indiana does not require proving that either spouse did something wrong, it instead merely requires that one of the spouses petition the court to advise the court that there has been an *irretrievable breakdown* of a marriage. Once one spouse has filed a petition for a divorce, the court will hold a preliminary hearing on the petition, at which time the judge presiding over the divorce proceeding can and will issue temporary orders on issues like the disposition of property, visitation, child custody, and other related issues in order to get the ball rolling on the process of dissolving the couple*s marriage. The parties must wait a minimum period of 60 days before a no-fault divorce becomes final. It can often take longer than 60 days to finalize even a no-fault divorce if there are issues remaining which need to be worked out by the parties (or their attorneys) on their own or that instead require judicial intervention in order to resolve. However, the parties are free to resolve all of the issues through a written agreement, which the court will then review and approve and finalize to end the divorce proceeding if the agreement adequately addresses all outstanding issues. The court typically will divide a couple*s assets and debts on a 50-50 basis, but can divert from this general rule of thumb is there is good reason to do so, such as if one spouse incurred the debts on his or her own and did not have a good reason for doing so (such as a gambling debt or the like). The parties to a no-fault divorce are permitted to come up with their own solutions to any issue, in particular, child custody, without court intervention, but the court will become involved if and when necessary. For example, if the soon to be ex-spouses cannot agree on a child custody and parenting plan, then the court will formulate a plan based on the best interests of the particular child. In doing so, the court will look at factors such as the child*s wishes (if he or she is at least 14), the parents* wishes, the age and sex of the child, etc.

James L. Welsh III | Dec 21, 2018

Divorce in a nutshell

Divorce in Pennsylvania Starts with a Complaint alleging marriage is irretrievably broken. Serve on spouse through certified mail or have them sign acceptance of service. File proof of service. Can either be uncontested under 3301 (c) or contested under 3301 (d), If uncontested must wait 90 days from date of service. Then both parties file affidavits of consent and notices of waiver. Next file praecipe to transmit record and wait. If all done correctly Judge will grant decree in divorce usually within 30 days. If contested must wait one year the file notice of intent, serve other side. They have 20 days to object. Must state grounds for objection. Praecipe for All counts conference or whatever is caled for in your county. Child custody Always best to agree on a consented to custody order. If no consent, file Child support complaint. You will then go to some form of conciliation when a hearing officer will attempt to find consent. If no consent eventually goes before a Judge for a pre-trial and eventually full-blown custody trial. Again, makes little to no sense to spend thousands of dollars to let someone who doesn't know you decide when you get to spend time with your kids. Also must consider child support based upon relative income of both parents and percentage of custody. There our support guidelines based upon incomes and if one parent isn't employed or is under-employed it's possible court will impute income based upon earning capacity. Equitable Distribution During course of marriage property acquired is marital property subject to equitable distribution. Both assets and liabilities are looked at. One spouse may be entitled to support, APL or alimony based upon length of marriage, earning disparity of parties and many other factors. Always best to agree of division of property through a marriage settlement agreement. Note court will not grant divorce unless custody and equitable distribution are resolved. If no agreement, eventually an all counts conference or some form of conciliation. If no agreement then eventually a trial before a special master of judge.

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