What are the differences between a Fault and No-Fault Divorce
The basic difference between the two types of divorce is the reason that leads to divorce. A fault divorce requires the one filing for divorce to assert that the other spouse is to be blamed for the divorce. It requires proof of responsibility for the ruination of the marriage on either of the spouses. On the other hand, a no-fault divorce, like those in Arizona, do not need anyone to be at fault for the failure of the marriage to obtain a divorce. There are a variety of laws in different states for the two types of divorce. Fault divorces are considered in some states while the others consider both types of divorce. It would be better if you consult an experienced divorce attorney to get all the knowledge you need about the divorce laws of your state.
In a no-fault divorce, the wrongdoing of either of the two parties is not required to be proven. In this kind of divorce, the judge does not require a valid reason valid for the approval of a divorce. The reason should make it evident that the couple couldn’t get along well and the marriage is ruined to an irreversible extent. Among the reasons for divorce, compatibility issues and perpetual failure of the marriage are the most common ones. If the other spouse objects a no-fault divorce, the court considers it as an irreconcilable difference. Therefore, a no-fault divorce petition cannot be objected too.
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Although no-fault divorces are considered legitimate by all states, some states require the couple to be separated for a certain period of time before the divorce is filed by one of the spouses. The time period of separation required by some states may last up to a period of 2 years.
There are certain requirements of no-fault divorce. Most states do not require the presence of all of them. The requirements are:
- Separation of the couple for a designated period of time
- Differences that make the two of them incompatible with each other
- Damage to the marital relationship that is irreconcilable
This type of divorce is not very common now and is not required in Arizona. Several states do not even recognize fault divorces anymore. To get a divorce on fault grounds, you would require more money because it’s expensive to prove fault and also the chances of approval are fewer than a no-fault divorce. There are several possible grounds for a fault divorce. Some states do not consider all of these grounds. These include:
- Involvement in adultery
- Abandoning or deserting your spouse for a specified period of time
- Being pregnant at the time of marriage without knowledge of your husband
- Physical, mental, emotional abuse or harsh behavior
- Imprisoning your spouse for a specified period of time (the time period may vary depending upon your state’s laws)
- Being mentally ill gives your spouse the right to file for divorce in some states
- The inability of the husband to achieve erection or orgasm (impotence)
- Drug dependence or alcoholism
- Being infected with a sexually transmitted disease
- Being married to someone who is closely related to you may serve as grounds for marriage annulment in some states
Some of the fault grounds, if proven, can grant you a strategic advantage. For example, if it is evident that your ex-spouse has been involved in adultery, he or she can be denied alimony.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article to ensure everyone has access to information about family law in Arizona. Chris is a divorce and family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and, quite frankly, actually caring about what his clients are going through in a divorce or family law case. In short, his practice is defined by the success of his clients. He also manages all of the other attorneys at his firm to make sure the outcomes in their clients’ cases are successful as well.