Fault Vs. No Fault Divorce: What Are The Differences?


If you and your spouse are planning to file for divorce, you need to decide if you are filing for a no fault or fault divorce. No fault divorces are more common, but there are some petitioners who prefer to file a fault divorce. Before filing, here is what you need to know about no fault and fault divorces. 

What Is a No Fault Divorce?

A no fault divorce means that neither person in the marriage is claiming that the other did something to cause the divorce. In essence, both people are stating that the divorce was due to irreconcilable differences. 

Every state recognizes no fault divorces. Depending on the state in which you live, there might be additional requirements for the divorce to be accepted by the court. For instance, your state might require that you and your spouse live separately for a certain amount of time before you can file.

What Is a Fault Divorce?

A fault divorce occurs when the petitioner files for divorce and specifically blames the other spouse. For instance, a spouse could cite the adultery of his or her spouse as the reason for the split. 

Other reasons that are used in fault divorces include incarceration, and abuse. You are not required to have a period of separation before you can file under a no fault divorce. 

Should You File for a Fault Divorce?

There are many reasons for filing for a fault divorce, including the division of marital assets. For instance, if your spouse committed adultery, you could claim that you should receive a bigger part of the assets because you were not responsible for the deterioration of the marriage. 

If you are filing a fault divorce based on abuse, it could make a difference in child custodial matters. If you can prove the abuse, a judge might be more willing to award you with custody of your children and support. 

How Can You Fight a Fault Divorce?

How you defend yourself against a fault divorce filing depends on the circumstances. For instance, if your spouse is accusing you of committing adultery and he or she also cheated, you could claim that both of you are equally responsible for the breakup.

A family attorney can help you determine whether or not a fault or no fault divorce is best in your situation. An attorney can also help you if your spouse has filed a fault divorce. To learn more, contact the experts at Karp Law Offices 


29 April 2015

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