There was a time when getting a divorce required you to prove that your spouse did something so wrong that a divorce would be imminent. In the 1970s, California enacted what is known as the “no-fault” divorce.
A no-fault divorce allows the divorce to proceed without having to prove that the other party did something so wrong that the actions warrant a divorce. Instead, one spouse simply has to list a reason for the divorce, such as:
- irreconcilable differences
- Irremediable breakdown of marriage
Ultimately, your life together can end once your spouse files for divorce. It’s not a lengthy battle like it once was, and you don’t need to prove that divorce is in fact irreconcilable. It’s a matter of simply stating the fact, and proceeding through the divorce.
There are certain states where you will need to live separately for a specified period of time before the divorce will be granted.
Interestingly, even if a spouse were to try to contest the divorce, this would be seen as an irreconcilable difference. Once the divorce paperwork has been filed, you have no other option but to go through with the divorce or try to rebuild your relationship outside of the courtroom.
Issues with No-Fault Divorce
The title of this article states that “she can get away with anything.” But, this isn’t necessarily fair to say. A man or a woman can file for divorce, and either can get away with anything in terms of covering up their own faults during the marriage.
A “fault” divorce is not even recognized in many states any longer, but they typically revolve around one of the following:
- Prison confinement
- Inability to have sexual intercourse
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
If a husband has been abusing his wife or committing adultery, he can file for a no-fault divorce and will not have to face any of the actions he took to end his marriage. Think of a no fault divorce as a way to hide from the real actions that occurred during a marriage.
The same goes for a woman that is divorcing a man.
There is nothing stopping a spouse from marrying another person with the initial intent of getting a divorce. With no-fault divorce, you will not need to prove that there are any issues within the divorce for the assets to be divided. It’s a way that many spouses have found to essentially increase their own assets by getting a divorce.
It wouldn’t seem fair for a business owner to get married and treat his or her spouse with the utmost care, only to find out that a no-fault divorce will have his or her spouse taking half of the assets owned.
No-fault divorces can be very difficult and trying, but the help of an attorney will allow you to safeguard your assets and rights following a divorce.
Even when the divorce is no-fault, you do have the right to fight the division of assets and ensure that your spouse does not get the majority of the assets that you brought into the marriage. If you’re planning to get married and you have a lot of assets, a prenuptial agreement should be formed to safeguard yourself from this type of divorce.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm specializing in family law and estates. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.