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Fault vs. No-Fault Divorces

If you are considering a divorce, it is important to understand the difference between a fault divorce and a no-fault divorce. In addition, you should understand the different requirements regarding fault and no-fault divorces so that you can make an informed decision about your own situation.

No-fault Divorce

With a no-fault divorce, neither spouse must accuse or admit to any wrongful act against the other. Instead, one spouse must simply give a reason for the divorce that is recognized by the state, such as:

  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Incompatibility
  • Irremediable breakdown of marriage

In some states, no-fault divorce is the only form of divorce available. In other states, no-fault divorce is not an option in the case of severe wrongdoing of one party. In still other states, the couple cannot be granted a no-fault divorce until they have lived apart for a specific period of time.

Fault Divorces

In a fault divorce, one spouse testifies against the other for committing a severe wrongdoing. The most common grounds for a fault divorce include:

  • Cruelty
  • Adultery
  • Prison confinement for a certain length of time
  • Abandonment for a certain length of time
  • Lack of physical ability to engage in sexual intercourse (if not disclosed before marriage)

In response, the other spouse might plead recrimination, accusing the first spouse of also committing similar acts. After testimony, a judge will rule who is at fault and can grant a divorce based on this ruling.

Contact Us

If you are considering a divorce from your spouse, contact the Raleigh divorce lawyers of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, at (919) 833-1040 to discuss your legal options.