Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce: Understanding the Grounds for Divorce

Father and Daughter

According to Divorce Attorney in Long Island, “When it comes to divorce and family law challenges, dealing with the legal system can be extremely overwhelming.” For the sake of family and children, many couples endure a bad marriage for a long time. Later, if one of them asks for separation, he or she is expected to prove that the other party was at fault. The common include desertion, cruelty, infertility or adultery. The other party would then counter the accusation by trying to prove the pleading spouse was wrong. He or she would also allege that no such activity or reason existed.

Father and Daughter

The Fault Divorce

This case is called a “fault divorce” — the dissolution of a valid marriage that involves a marital misconduct by one of the spouses. This is chosen if the spouse plans to vindicate the other by proving the other’s fault. This is necessary for dividing property and fixing the alimony amount. Simple mutual incompatibility is not considered sufficient for a separation in some places. Consult a reliable divorce lawyer to know the proper procedure and plan a defense accordingly.

The No-Fault Divorce

The “No-Fault” laws were enacted based on the belief that couples should be given the option to terminate their marriage if they have irreconcilable differences. In this kind of divorce, the law recognizes that both parties are not at fault. The couple can separate when they are not compatible and move ahead to form other alliances if they so wish. This kind of statute is the way forward for humanity to keep pace with the modern social realities. This also helps reduce the feeling of guilt one or both the spouse might harbor, especially when young children are involved. There is no blame game and the couple can amicably separate as friends without any bitterness.

Nearly 49 states in the United States have this ‘no fault’ divorce in place, where the grounds could be just incompatibility and irremediable breakdown of the alliance. As your chosen divorce attorney will advice you, a party need not prove any fault of the other to be separated. This law was introduced by legislators who felt it necessary to allow women to free themselves from destructive or violent marriages. In some states, men and women can just state that they are very unhappy and plead for dissolution of the marriage.

This kind of legal approach has also helped the cause of an actual fault divorce. Even if one party is at fault, incidence of mental cruelty and harassment cannot be proved easily. So, these proofs are not used for the separation per se, by going under the no-fault process. But, the faults come in handy while granting alimony, child custody or distributing property. Hence, the proofs can be produced.

About Eleanor Sharp
Eleanor Sharp is the author of AGSE Law. As a paralegal, she has worked with attorneys in many fields to ensure their clients get the best advice and representation. She is passionate about helping people understand the complexities of the legal system so they can make better decisions for themselves. Eleanor loves reading, travel, and spending time with her family. She hopes her articles will help others navigate life’s legal intricacies with confidence.