What Does No Fault Divorce Mean – Definition and Laws


When you decide to file for divorce it is necessary to state the grounds on which you base your application. A no fault divorce is one of the common grounds for failure of the marital relationship that is cited in the petition.

In reality, a no fault divorce is probably a more humane ground to cite since it implies that neither party is to blame for the failure of the marriage. The two parties have just grown apart. In other words there are irreconcilable differences. There has been no adultery, abuse, mental illness or other such item that has caused the breakdown of the marriage.

However, not so long ago there was no such thing as a no fault divorce. Indeed, even today not all states permit this type of divorce easily.

Around 1960 it was recognized that in marriage relationships where both spouses wanted to end the relationship, they would find a means somehow to end their marriage. Around this time as well there was seen to be an increase in the number of divorce petitions being filed and subsequently thrown out of court when it was found that the fault grounds for filing the divorce petition were established to be untrue.

Therefore in order to prevent people having to lie under oath in court to end their marriage and to prevent others from living in a relationship they didnít want, numerous people argued that it would be better to change the law and introduce the no-fault divorce.

The state of California became the first U.S. state to introduce this type of divorce back in 1969. It was subsequently followed by other states over the years who also changed their divorce laws so that the no fault divorce was recognized.

But filing for a no fault divorce doesnít make the divorce process any easier for the parties involved. In fact, as it is just a case that the two parties have grown apart and there is no actual proof of something more visible, if the two parties donít feel the same way this type of divorce can be messier than one based on fault grounds.

In addition, unlike filing for a divorce based on fault grounds, depending on which state you are in you may not be able to file for a no fault divorce immediately. Some states require that you and your spouse live apart for a number of months if not years, before you are entitled to file for a no fault divorce.



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