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No Fault Divorce Laws

No-fault divorce cases have risen to a large extent in USA because of the modified conditions that allow a spouse to divorce from his/her wife. No fault divorce laws came into picture when it was declared as Family Law in the state of California in 1969.

History of “no-fault” divorce laws

Divorce is the final legal dissolution of a marriage that enables the spouses to lead separate lives and hence, get away from an unhappy and sometimes, violent relationship. Earlier divorce could be awarded only if a spouse could prove that the other spouse had indulged in culpable crime such as adultery, brutality etc. However, it soon emerged that spouses were creating “legal fictions” and enacting a situation that their spouse had committed a folly, when all the while the entire drama was staged. For instance, a mistress was “hired” and the husband was “caught” by the wife, when all the while the estranged husband and wife were colluding to put up this act to get a divorce. Husbands also did the same for their wives!

What is no-fault divorce?

Thus, the no-fault divorce helped courts get rid of such cooked-up stories in the court of law. A spouse now no longer needs to prove that his/her partner had faulted in the marriage. Issues concerning “irreconcilable differences” and “incompatibility” are now reasons strong enough to get a divorce under no-fault divorce laws.

Advantages and disadvantages of No fault divorce laws


It has been observed that as a result of no-fault divorce laws, there has been a jump in the number of divorces in USA. In a study carried out in 1989 by Justec research in Virginia on the impact of no-fault divorce laws in 38 states of USA, have shown that there has been a 20-25% rise in the number of divorce cases. One of the reasons for the increase is found to be due to the ease with which people can divorce each other as provided by the laws of no-fault divorce. People are increasingly becoming less tolerant to each other and wishing to break up the marriage as the law also permits them to do so! Thus, to may marriage has become a matter of joke and the beauty of the relationship is getting lost!


Compared to the “Fault” ground on which divorce can be granted, no-fault divorce helps the spouses to get rid of a burdensome relationship even if there has been no desertion, brutality, abandonment or any related crime. There has been a decrease in domestic violence cases also because partners have a choice of getting a divorce due to irreconcilable differences and are hence, less frustrated. Violence is more instigated when the spouses are more frustrated with each other but are saddled together owing to reasons of not getting a divorce. Moreover, no-fault divorce laws ensure a speedy divorce and is less expensive compared to fault divorce.

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