How Fault and No-Fault Divorces Work
Each state has different rules, laws and regulations regarding divorce. The location where you live could play a large role in how your situation plays out. Some states allow no-fault divorces while others require fault before a divorce decree will be issued. How do each of these situations work?
Most states don’t require fault to be proven when a couple wants to get a divorce. Those that do will require that one spouse proves why the other spouse is at fault for the divorce. There are some common reasons a spouse might do this including prison confinement, the inability to have sexual intercourse, adultery, cruelty and abandonment. When fault is required for a divorce, most states do not require a certain amount of time for the couple to be separated before the divorce can be granted. If there are assets that are to be split, it is often more beneficial to the spouse who is not at fault if he or she can prove actual fault in the other.
Because most states run off a no-fault divorce process, spouses can get divorced without having to prove that adultery, abandonment or another issue took place. The grounds for divorce would be “irreparable breakdown” or “irreconcilable differences.” If one spouse files a no-fault divorce and the other spouse tries to object to it, that objection could be considered an irreconcilable difference and become the reason for the divorce.
In many states, the court requires that in order for a no-fault divorce to be granted, the couple must live separately for a designated amount of time. After that time has passed, one of the spouses can file for divorce. This is often where mistakes are made because the couple colludes together to make it seem as though they’ve been living apart for that amount of time when they really haven’t. Not only is this dishonest, but it is often discovered and collusion is a reason to prevent divorce from happening.
Objection To Divorce
If you live in a state that requires proof of fault for divorce, you could still try to prevent it from happening. There are a few ways to do this:
- Claiming condonation – Perhaps the “fault” your spouse is claiming is something that he or she knew about previously and had already forgiven you for. If you can prove that, it might prevent divorce.
- Claiming recrimination – If one spouse claims fault in the other, that other spouse can claim the first spouse was equally at fault, which would be grounds to prevent the divorce.
- Claiming connivance – When one spouse comes up with a plan for the other spouse to fail, then uses that failure as a reason for divorce, it could be prevented based on connivance.