What Is The Difference Between a "Fault" and a "No Fault" Divorce?

A “no fault” divorce is one where the spouse filing for divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong. All states allow divorces regardless of who is at “fault”. To file for a no fault divorce, one spouse must simply state a reason recognized by the state. For example, “irreconcilable differences” is the default legal reason in California and other states. In most states, this is not a difficult hurdle to overcome. However, the downside is that in several states the couple must live apart for a period of months or even years in order to obtain a no fault divorce.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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