No Fault Divorce Laws Simplify the Process of Getting Divorced

The process of getting divorced has become easier since the implementation of no fault divorce laws. Prior to the changes in divorce laws it was necessary for one of the spouses to have committed some type of wrong doing in order to create “fault.” During the period preceding “no fault” divorce, it was not unusual to discover couples actually agreeing to lie on one another (mutually) because they had no basis for getting divorced.

In many states the only way of getting divorced was adultery and mental or physical cruelty. Some states included abandonment as a basis for getting divorced, but you had to be separated for at least one year. Some of the other reasons that qualified under the “fault” provisions and allowed couples the “privilege” of getting divorced included the following:

Failure to provide sufficient support
Lying about your age or previous marital status
Failure to disclose information that would have prevented the marriage from occurring (history of mental or physical illness, lying about financial stability, failure to disclose inability or lack of desire for having children, etc.)
Refusal to consummate the marriage


After the implementation of no fault divorce laws getting divorced became much easier. Couples did not have to invent stories about one another in order to get a divorce, but at the same time no fault divorce takes the blame for increasing the number of couples that are getting divorced. Many people believe that no fault divorce makes getting divorced too easy so many people don’t try to work out their problems. While this may be true in some cases it is not likely to be the case for even the majority of couples getting divorced.

The change from fault to no fault divorce not only makes it easier for couples but also for he divorce lawyers because they no longer need to help couples choose the best reason for getting divorced. There is no longer a need to hire a private investigator to prove your spouse is committing adultery although you may still find couples who choose to file divorce on this basis in the hope of using it to obtain a higher divorce settlement.

In most cases no fault divorce prevents the other spouse from contesting the divorce—after all, with no fault that means there is no need for a reason. Unfortunately this doesn’t stop the process, and some jilted spouses will use it as a way to hold up the process hoping the party filing the divorce will change their mind or as a means to stretch things out for a long time and increase the lawyer’s fees. While you are not going to prevent the divorce from occurring, you can contest the reason for the divorce (disagreeing with the marriage being irretrievably broken) or contest the provisions that are included in your spouse’s petition. The main thing to remember is that under no fault divorce laws there is no need to prove anyone was to blame, and it will make things move smoother if you and your spouse come to a mutual agreement when you and your spouse decide to divorce. This will allow things to move smoother and cost less in attorney’s fees.


Christy Oconnor is a divorce lawyer specializing in divorce, child custody, divorce settlements and the like.Visit her site:
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