No-Fault Divorce Overview

No-Fault Divorce Overview Divorce proceedings are notoriously known for being quite extensive and often times confusing. One particular aspect that may add to such issues is the fact that there are different types of divorce that one can undertake. 

One of these types is the No-fault divorce, which entails the dissolution of a marriage without having to prove fault or any particular wrong-doing on behalf of one of the spouses. This is the opposite of a fault divorcer, which requires that “grounds for divorce” not only be stated, but also proven in the court of law. 

History of No-Fault Divorce in the United States

The no-fault divorce is a fairly recent implementation into United States law, first being introduced by the state of California in 1970. One of the main reasons for the no-fault divorce being included into law was the fact that many lawyers and judges believed that the courts would often times engage provisions of presumption of facts in order to circumvent certain legal requirements to obtain a divorce in accordance to established laws and statutes. 

Another issue that caused problems with at-fault divorce proceedings would arise in the case that the courts would find both parties to have faults that contributed to the marriage, or that there was no apparent fault that would be grounds for a divorce. The latter instance caused problems, particularly in the case that both parties would mutually agree and desire the divorce. 

Even since its introduction, other states began to adopt the no-fault divorce and implementing it to their own divorce laws and codes. By 1977, nine states in the country implemented no-fault divorce legislation into their divorce laws. Only South Dakota and New York were the only states in the nation without no-fault divorce laws in place. 

However, in 1985, South Dakota would implement the no-fault divorce option into its state divorce laws. The most recent state to adopt the no-fault divorce into law is the state of New York, which was made effective in October of 2010. With the state of New York enacting no-fault divorce legislation, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws regarding no-fault divorce. 

No-Fault Divorce vs. At-Fault Divorce 

Prior to the introduction of the no-fault divorce, all states required that in order for a divorce to be granted by laws, one of the parties in the marriage would have to be at fault for the overall dissolution of the union. 

This would mean that one of the spouses would have to provide for evidence that the other spouse physically engaged in an actual act that would violate the contract of marriage in accordance to applicable laws. Among the various and most common reasons for fault include adultery, abuse, or criminal behavior. In a no-fault divorce, no evidence is needed in order to be granted a divorce.

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