Differences Between No-Fault & Fault Divorce
What Your Situation Might Be In Case Of Divorce In Arizona
In order for a divorce to take place, there is an extensive legal process that needs to be completed. In the United States, there are two types of divorce: fault and no-fault. A fault divorce means that one party is filing for divorce due to an assertion that their spouse has done something that caused the divorce. This type of divorce requires proof of responsibility for the ruination of the marriage. In contrast, a no-fault divorce does not require one party to prove a fault of the other spouse in order to obtain the divorce; one spouse can file simply because they believe the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Some states allow both fault and no-fault divorce; the state of Arizona recognizes no-fault divorce. If you are in this situation, it’s best to consult with an experienced Arizona divorce lawyer for representation and legal advice pertaining to your situation.
In a no-fault divorce, neither party is required to prove any kind of wrongdoing of the other party. A judge does not require a significant reason to be validated in order to grant the divorce. The valid reason is simply that the couple no longer gets along or no longer wishes to be married, and that the marriage is therefore ruined to an irreversible extent.
Although there are many reasons why couples choose to divorce, failure of the marriage and compatibility issues are the most commonly cited reasons. If one spouse objects to a no-fault divorce, the court will consider that to be an irreconcilable difference. Therefore, a no-fault divorce petition cannot be objected to by the court.
No-fault divorces are recognized by all 50 states, but some states require the couple to be separated for a specified period of time before one party can file for a no-fault divorce. This can be as long as two years, depending on individual state laws.
Although it may seem very simple to obtain a no-fault divorce, there are certain requirements that must be met. Generally speaking, these requirements are:
- Separation of the couple for a minimum specified period of time
- Differences that make the two spouses incompatible with each other
- Irreconcilable damage to the marital relationship
Divorce law is very complex. If you want to file for no-fault divorce, or if your spouse has filed against you, you’ll want to work with a Glendale family law lawyer for representation and guidance.
Fault divorce is becoming increasingly less common. Proof of fault is no longer required in the state of Arizona; in fact, many states do not even recognize fault divorces any longer. Obtaining a divorce on fault grounds can be expensive because it takes a lot of legal work to prove the fault. Additionally, the chances of approval are lower than with a no-fault divorce.
There are many grounds for a fault divorce, although not every state considers these grounds to be legitimate. Ground for fault divorce include:
- Spousal abandonment for a designated period of time
- Being pregnant at the time of marriage without the husband’s knowledge
- Physical, mental, or emotional abuse
- A spouse becoming imprisoned for a specified period of time
- One spouse developing mental illness
- Drug dependence or alcoholism
- Being infected with a sexually transmitted disease
- Being married to someone who is closely related
Some of the fault grounds can grant the other party a strategic advantage, if the grounds can be proven. For example, if it can be proven that one spouse engaged in adultery, he or she may be denied alimony.
No Fault Divorce in Arizona
Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. A spouse does not need to prove wrongdoing in order to file for divorce other than that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Your spouse does not have to commit adultery, be abusive, or become incarcerated in order for you to legally file for the divorce. All that is needed is for one spouse to establish irreconcilable differences within the marriage. Generally, this is easily accomplished if one spouse can testify that they believe the marriage to be broken in an irreconcilable way – even if the other spouse testifies that they believe the marriage can be repaired. However, either spouse also has the option to request that the court mandate marriage counseling in an attempt to prevent the divorce. Legal advice from a skilled Avondale divorce lawyer is imperative.
Other Considerations in No Fault Divorce
Even though Arizona allows no-fault divorce, fault can still come into play in a divorce case. Especially when children are involved, there are many issues that can be relevant to the case and affect alimony, child support, and child custody arrangements:
- Infidelity and waste claims
- Abuse of alcohol or drugs
- Mental health issues
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
All parties in a no-fault divorce situation need the counsel of an experienced Gilbert divorce attorney who understands the laws and complexity of the situation.
Experienced Divorce Attorney Firm in Mesa
My AZ Lawyers is an experienced legal firm with offices throughout the state of Arizona. When it comes to divorce, we will help you fight for a fair division of assets, sufficient alimony and child support, and vigorous representation of your rights. Contact us today for your free case evaluation!
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