Fault Vs. No Fault Divorce

by RyanD on December 12, 2012

When people get married, they expect to live happily ever after with the one that they love. While some are fortunate enough to have this happen, the truth is that many marriages in the United States will end in divorce. While divorce is not pleasant for anyone, it is a fact of life that must be dealt with if and when it happens. Many people are unaware of the fact that there are actually two different types of divorce—“fault” and “no fault”. It is important for you to understand each of these divorce types and what they can mean for you and your family.

Fault Divorce

A fault divorce is a divorce that is granted when one person in the marriage is considered to be “at fault” for the ending of the marriage. What constitutes a fault or wrongdoing worthy of divorce will vary from one state to another. Common reasons for fault divorce, however, include cruel and/or inhuman treatment such as abuse to a spouse or any children involved; abandonment by one spouse for at least a year or longer; one spouse being sentenced to a prison term of three years or more; infidelity on the part of one spouse; and having completed a legal separation period if required by the state.

When a fault divorce is granted, this can sometimes have an impact on which party in the marriage gets certain assets, on custody rulings when there are children involved, and more. Fault divorces can get quite messy and often involve lengthy legal battles in which the plaintiff must prove his or her case. Abuse, for example, has to be proven, as does adultery or other “crimes.” For this reason, most people prefer, when possible, to seek a no-fault divorce. If, however, you have no intentions of staying amicable with your spouse and/or wish to protect or gain assets or custody, a fault divorce may be the right option for you.

No Fault Divorce:

No fault divorces are typically granted when a couple wishes to no longer be married for reasons other than those listed above. If you simply can’t get along, for example, or feel for whatever reason that you have married the wrong person, this could fall under the “irreconcilable differences” category. No one person is deemed at fault, but a divorce is still considered necessary. No fault divorces may also be granted on the grounds of “incurable insanity,” such as when one member of the marriage suffers from a mental disability or has other serious problems that deem him or her legally insane.

No fault divorces tend to be less messy and more amicable, and are often the way to go when there are children involved. The people who seek these divorces do not want to hurt their partner or take anything from them unfairly; they simply want to end the marriage.

Other Options

Obviously, divorce is not a happy thing, and most people wish to do everything in their power to avoid it whenever possible. If you think there is even a small glimmer of hope for your family and your marriage, marriage counseling could be a viable option for you and work as an alternative to divorce. You may also wish to try a trial separation and see if you and your spouse can mend things after some time apart.

 Kelly Davis knows it can be difficult and stressful going through a divorce. A Denton divorce attorney can help you with you divorce proceedings, and bring satisfying results to your case.




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