No Fault and Fault Divorce

Posted By Jeff Tatum on Oct 23, 2016 | 0 comments


Not all states have uniform divorce practices and divorce laws. While there are states that recognize no-fault divorce, a practice wherein citing a reasonable ground for divorce is no longer necessary, so that so long as one spouse files a petition for divorce, a family court should grant such petition. Currently, 17 states adhere to this “no-fault” position; these states are California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.

In the other 33 states, though these originally only recognized the fault system for divorce, these now also allow petitioners to file for divorce on no-fault grounds. Some of basic laws for filing divorce, like in Texas and other states, include:

a) No Fault. This is now available to couples whose marriage has become insupportable due to irreconcilable differences, discord or conflict of personalities. This means that the marriage is not working anymore and reconciliation can no longer be expected.
b) Fault. “Fault’ divorce necessitates a specific, acceptable ground upon which a divorce is being sought. Any of the following is an acceptable ground for divorce:

  • Cruelty by one spouse
  • Act of adultery
  • Conviction of felony of one spouse
  • Abandonment for at least one year
  • Living apart for at least three years without cohabitation
  • Confinement of one spouse in a mental hospital.

According to the law firm Kirker Davis, LLP, during the process of ending a marriage, both spouses typically undergo tremendous emotional strain. The legal process involved in either divorce or annulment is complex and includes a wide spectrum of issues, including distribution of property, child custody, spousal and child support. Divorce can have profound consequences with the potential for long-lasting effects on a person’s finances and property. This is one legal issue that is worth settling peacefully and amicably and outside the court – a kind of settlement that will work for both spouses and which can be accomplished through the help of a highly-competent divorce lawyer, whose interest is to help the spouses get through this most painful and emotional time in their lives.

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