What’s the Difference Between a Fault and No-Fault Divorce?

In order to get a divorce, most states require that a divorce-seeking petitioner show grounds for the divorce, or explain the reason for which the divorce is being sought. Indeed, this is the case in the state of New Jersey and many others. That being said, there are both fault and no-fault based grounds for divorce, which vary on a state-by-state basis. The following provides an overview regarding no-fault divorce and what you need to do if you’re seeking dissolution of marriage:

Fault vs. No-Fault - What’s the Difference?

When a person is seeking a divorce based on fault, they are essentially saying that the other party did something that warrants the divorce. Fault-based grounds are different in every state, but typically include things like adultery, bigamy, cruelty or abuse, drug addiction, insanity, or incarceration.

When a person is seeking a no-fault divorce, on the other hand, they are not claiming that the other party did anything wrong, but rather that the marriage is broken and irreconcilable.

The Benefits of Filing for a No-fault Divorce

Perhaps the greatest advantage to filing for a no-fault divorce is that you do not have to provide proof that the other party did something to warrant the divorce; if you are seeking divorce on fault-grounds, you will have to provide evidence of the grounds. What’s more, a spouse can object to a fault divorce, claiming that the act (on which the divorce is based) didn’t happen, was provoked, or was even condoned by the other spouse.

Another benefit of filing for a no-fault divorce is that you can file for divorce at any time (so long as residency requirements are fulfilled); you do not have to wait for your spouse to do something before your divorce can be granted.

Are There Any Benefits to Filing for Divorce on Fault-Based Grounds?

There are few benefits to filing for a divorce on fault-based grounds, although there may be a couple advantages depending on the facts of your case. For example, if there is a personal injury claim in your divorce case, or there is an immigration aspect to your divorce, it may be necessary to include a fault-based ground for divorce to obtain a favorable ruling. As such, filing a divorce on fault grounds may, in those types of cases, help you to secure a divorce judgment that is within your best interests.

Our Experienced Divorce Attorneys Can Help

Serving clients all throughout New Jersey, our experienced divorce attorneys at the offices of Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas, LLP can help you to understand the difference between fault and no-fault divorce, the laws in New Jersey, and what steps to take next if you want to dissolve your marriage. To learn more, please contact our law offices by phone, or send us an email using our online contact form today.