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No-Fault vs. Fault Divorce

When filing for divorce, one has to indicate on the petition the main reason the marriage is ending. Some states allow the divorcing couple to file a no-fault divorce with the state's regulations on how that process takes place. The goal was to reduce the potential conflict or court battles seen in fault divorces. The main difference between fault and no-fault divorces is that in the former, one of the spouses indicates their partner's actions resulted in the relationship's collapse. In a no-fault divorce, neither spouse needs to allege anything against the other, so they can part on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. It is essential to look up the laws in your specific state since they do vary based on which states allow for no-fault divorces and which do not.

What Is A No-Fault Divorce?

No-blame divorce, also called a no-fault divorce, is an amicable approach that couples use to separate. Married couples using this method can file for divorce without placing any blame on one partner to prove the relationship's breakdown. It only tends to affect the proceedings which are related to the processes of legally ending the marriage. These do not necessarily affect or concern the finance division or child custody arrangements.

How No-Fault Divorce Works And What It Means For Separation

An application for no-fault divorce can either be made at the county clerk or online. It would require the names and addresses of both partners as well as, the original copy of the marriage certificate. Should a sole application be made, the courts may send the other spouse a copy of the divorce. Afterward, they would be required to confirm receipt and return acknowledgment service forms to the courts within two weeks.

According to the Divorce, Dissolution, and Separation Bill, no-fault divorce removes the requirement of establishing facts proving a marriage collapse. During the proceedings, the petitioner has become the applicant considering the updated divorce language. It also introduces joint applications in which the couple agrees that irreconcilable differences exist. No-fault divorces remove the ability to contest a divorce or separation. No-fault divorces also typically institute a minimum period of 20 weeks from the beginning of the proceedings to when a Conditional Order is made.

Per the no-fault divorce provisions, both people get the benefit of knowing the other will not contest the divorce, allowing them to have fewer costs and lower stress about the entire process. Most couples are to wait six months as well for the divorce to be finalized.. This time allows for reflection so both partners know they want to go through with the decision. At the same time, it will enable couples to separate their assets and agree on maintenance payments.

What Is A Fault Divorce?

Fault divorces are still allowed in two-thirds of the United States. When filing for a fault divorce, one partner typically claims their spouse misbehaved in one form or another, leading to a relationship breakdown. Every state has different fault grounds which can be used for divorce petitions. The standard criteria are abandonment, adultery, domestic violence, substance abuse, or felony conviction and imprisonment.

If one has filed for divorce due to some of these events, they will have to prove the claims before a judge will grant a petition. It means hiring legal counsel for the process and presenting evidence to the courts. In some states, the judges may consider misconduct as a basis on awarding alimony to the aggrieved partner. It may also determine the divisions of property. Though that only becomes a problem if the misconduct affects the asset being distributed.

Can A Spouse Prevent The Courts From Granting A Divorce?

Technically a spouse is not able to prevent n- faults divorce applications. The objection would fall under irreconcilable differences hence a justification for the divorce application. Though in a fault divorce, a spouse can convince the court that the claims brought against them are false.

In these cases, the accused spouse may admit to their conduct but claim their partner allowed it in the first place. This is condonation. The courts may find that a husband did not initially object to his wife's adultery, so he cannot protest it later.

Connivance is engineering a situation so a spouse commits an offense. For example, a wife can entrap her husband by getting him intoxicated and inviting another woman to seduce him while she is not there. If adultery takes place, it will be considered as connivance.

Provocation is also a criterion for defense. That happens when one of the spouses prompts the other to misbehave in a way that may constitute grounds for divorce. If the husband seeks a divorce because of abandonment, his wife may claim her actions were because of his behavior in the past.

Can The Courts Enforce An Out-Of-State Divorce?

Should one of the spouses meet the residency requirements for filing for divorce in a particular state, they may proceed with the petition, and the courts will uphold it. On the other hand, court decisions regarding custody, alimony, and child support may not be valid unless the courts had jurisdiction over the non-resident. The resident also has to consent to the jurisdiction by appearing at a court hearing.

The applying spouse must also personally serve the non-resident spouse with the divorce papers. If one gets divorce documents from a foreign nation, one may want to consult an attorney concerning whether the state court or the foreign one governs the matter; that depends on whether the country heard the case and where the spouses lived for the longest period of their union.

How Long Do No-Fault Divorces Take?

No-fault divorces are relatively straightforward, so they take the shortest time to process. On average, these proceedings may take up to 26 weeks to finalize. 20 out of the 26 weeks is a waiting period before issuing the Decree Nisi. That is to reflect if the decision to split is final and to organize the separation of assets from each other. There is a further six-week wait for the Final Order or the Decree Absolute. It may take more time to finalize the divorce, depending on other factors like the division of finances and child arrangements.