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No Fault Divorce, Merits and Demerits of No Fault Divorce, No Fault Divorce Definition


Let us first understand what “Fault divorce” is all about before we analyze “no-fault” divorce.

What is No-Fault divorce?

Before 1970s, divorce in USA could be granted only if it could be proved that one or both the spouses are at “fault” and that this fault has been proven in the court. Lawyers and judges began to realize that spouses were indulging in “legal fictions” to create a scenario that either one or both the spouses had indulged in adultery or battery, and could get the much awaited divorce!

“Fault” grounds for divorce

Before the law regarding No-fault divorce was passed, courts had to be proved that one spouse or both of them had indulged in culpable acts such as: felony, adultery, abandonment.

It was soon found that spouses who were in need of divorce began to create fictitious “faults”. They would arrange for a “mistress”, such that the “anguished” wife had found her husband in the arms of one! The husband would also repeat a similar act and say “you too!” thus, they would be granted divorce!

Need for “no-fault” divorce

Lawyers began to argue as early as in 1930s that the “fault” ground for divorce was flawed and should be modified to set the two spouses free if the marriage between them has broken down! Soon ‘No-fault” law for divorce was introduced in 1969 in the state of California and it was declared that divorce could be obtained if the marriage has broken down irretrievably, even if none of the spouses have indulged in any culpable act.

Merits of No-Fault divorce
  • No-fault divorce has reduced “legal fictions” where, the spouses were indulging in a packet of lies to prove adultery or battery.
  • It has been found that domestic violence has considerably reduced after no-fault divorce laws have been passed. Earlier spouses were frustrated that they could not get over with the marriage and would get physically aggressive!
  • Domestic violence in the family has reduced which also reduces negative impact on the children.
  • No fault divorce cases are heard within shorter periods of time and thus, reduce the stressful burden on the spouses and also the number of cases with the judicial system.
Demerits of No-fault divorce
  • The greatest drawback of no-fault divorce is that it has reduced the willingness of partners to take up steps to save their marriage. If there is any slight incompatibility, they are now more willing to divorce and lead separate lives!
  • The values of marriage and its sanctity have lost its meaning as a result of no-fault divorce laws.
  • In most of no-fault divorce cases, one party is not willing to divorce his/her spouse. But judges do not listen to their argument and simply award divorce based on the fact that the marriage has broken down!
  • Men lose out on custody of their child as family courts generally award custody of the child to the mother. Similarly, the wife ends up having a lower living standard as spousal support is far less than to meet her living standards.
  • No-fault divorce has just made divorce very easy!
These are some of the articles which will talk about on various issues of No Fault Divorce:
No Fault Divorce For Each And Every State


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