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.