What Are The No Fault Divorce States?

Are you or someone you know planning to arrange a divorce?

The US has different rules regarding divorces – some states, such as Colorado, are considered no fault divorce states. Knowing the divorce laws in your state will be helpful when you need to go through the process yourself. This allows you to adequately prepare your case, usually with a lawyer assisting.

This article will tell you all you need to know about no fault divorce laws.

No Fault Divorce Law vs. Fault Divorce Law

A no fault divorce law basically means that when you and your partner agree to separate on the terms that no one is at fault, you can file a divorce without needing a reason. The court does not require you to cite a reason for filing a divorce – such as for ‘bad behavior’ – and you can simply mention that your marriage did not work out. They will not assume that someone is at fault.

This makes it easier for you to file a divorce when you don’t want to blame another person for the dissolution of the marriage. Court proceedings will tend to go more smoothly and peacefully. Some states also go by the equitable division rule, where a divorce means that all your assets are split in half and are distributed equally.

In contrast, a fault divorce law means that the law requires you to justify dissolving your marriage. This involves meeting the required grounds of divorce, such as for reasons of cruelty or adultery. Your lawyer will have to prove that your claims are true in order for these forms of divorce to be legally approved.

No Fault Divorce States in the US

Almost all states employ some form of a no fault divorce rule. These states are the ones with the strongest no fault divorce laws:

  • Colorado
  • California
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Montana

True Vs. Optional No Fault States

Some states are called ‘true’ no fault divorce states, and what this means is that the law does not allow you to file a case that assigns blame to a party. The above list includes states that use this law. A true no fault state will not consider the negative conducts of your spouse, which may prove unfair when it comes to settling child custody and other elements of a divorce.

Some of these states provide exceptions based on certain circumstances such as insanity, but you will have to go through the laws more specifically. This is why having an attorney to handle your case will be very beneficial – they can help sort out the specifics for you and help you see if you are eligible for any exceptions.

An optional no fault state allows you to choose between a no fault divorce and a fault divorce. This means that you can opt for either option that you feel suits your situation better. Keep in mind, however, that choosing a fault divorce means that you will have to spend more money and more time with court proceedings because the state has to prove your claims against your spouse.

Where Do You File For A Divorce?

If you are interested in filing for a divorce in a no-fault state, you are usually required to have stayed there for at least six months. You will have to provide proof of your stay in the state.

Pros of No Fault Divorces

No fault divorces are simple, relatively peaceful, and it doesn’t cost much. You don’t have to pay the fees for lengthy and messy court proceedings. Instead, you and your spouse can shake hands, sign some documents, and go your separate ways.

You can file your divorce at any time as well, as long as you’ve lived long enough in a certain state. Your divorce may be finalized after 30 days, and that’s it.

Cons of No Fault Divorces

One of the cons of no fault divorces is that it becomes very easy for people to file for a divorce. Instead of encouraging couples to sort out their problems, people may choose to file out on a whim.

A lot of no fault divorce proceedings also only need one of the two spouses to believe that their marriage is not salvageable. This can result in the termination of a marriage when both parties are not necessarily on the same page.

Furthermore, the equal division of assets may be unfair for some parties, especially if one spouse needs more support. If one of the individuals don’t currently have a job and need to maintain another household as well as a child, they may see no fault divorces as unfairly burdening them.

Which Divorce Should You File?

You may know your answer by now, but it’s always a good idea to reflect and take stock. A no fault divorce is surely the easier way out, but what if you want the court to consider the misconduct of your spouse? What if you know you need more finances compared to your spouse?

At the same time, make sure to consult your lawyer for more details, especially if you would like to find out more about the different laws surrounding no fault divorce states. Every area will have a different legal procedure, and having someone to back up your case even when it seems like an easy win will make sure you don’t miss out on the specifics.

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