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Will you have a fault-based or no-fault divorce?

by | Jan 29, 2021 | Family Law |

When you are going through a divorce, the first question to answer is whether this will be a no-fault or fault-based divorce.  A fault-based divorce is filed when one spouse won’t consent to end the marriage and the other spouse doesn’t want to wait.  A no-fault divorce gets filed when both spouses consent to the marriage or enough time has passed.

Since there are different scenarios that could affect your case, you should understand the different options that may be open to you.

What are the differences between no-fault and fault-based divorces?

There are some differences between both types of these divorces.  A no-fault consent divorce allows you to sign an affidavit to dissolve your marriage if both of you agree or consent.  That paperwork is signed and filed at least 90 days after the divorce complaint has been served upon the respondent.  This 90 day period is known as a “cooling off” period and is designed to give the parties a chance to reconcile.

If you both don’t agree to divorce, you need to remain separated for at least one year.  Then, you can get what is called a unilateral divorce.  That means that you don’t need the other party to sign or give consent.

Fault-based divorces are different because one spouse doesn’t give consent and the other is not willing to wait a year to divorce. In a fault-based divorce you need to prove there is a fault, such as:

  • Indignities
  • Bigamy
  • Barbarous/cruel treatment
  • Adultery
  • Imprisonment
  • Desertion
  • Insanity

Indignities is the most commonly used ground, because it is the easiest way to show that you have suffered in an unhappy marriage by being ignored or by dealing with other disrespect or negative treatment from  your spouse.

Your attorney can talk to you more about your divorce and what to expect if you’re not sure if it will be a fault or no-fault divorce.


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