Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


No Fault Divorce States


Almost all the states of USA are “no-fault divorce states”. Meaning, if a spouse wishes to file for divorce, then he/she need not prove in the court of law that the other spouse had willfully committed a culpable crime such as desertion, brutality, adultery, cruelty (both physical and emotional pain), inability to engage in sexual intercourse and imprisoning a spouse for a long period of time. Thus, if a partner files a case of divorce that there is “irretrievable breakdown” in the marriage or there are “irreconcilable differences”, then the ground for divorce is called “no-fault” and the couple is granted divorce.

Are there are any non no-fault divorce states?

New York is the only state that does not grant divorce based on no-fault grounds. The gounds that come closest to “no-fault” grounds are that the partners must have been living separately for a minimum of one year or to the stipulated amount of time as specified in the separation agreement. Thus, these grounds can not be used as causes to get a divorce in the state of New York:
  • Irreconciliale differences
  • Getting divorce owing to mutual consent
  • No communication.
  • No-fault
All the other states in USA come in the category of no-fault divorce cases.

In fact, there are 15 states in USA which do not grant divorce on the grounds of a “fault” even if there is substantial crime committed. The only ground that a partner can get divorce from the other is “no-fault ground” in such cases. In all other states, the couple can get divorce either on fault grounds or no-fault grounds.

What is the advantage of filing for “fault grounds” for divorce?

Some states have laws regarding property distribution whose proportion may vary from 50/50 to 40/60 etc depending on who is at more fault for causing the divorce. Moreover, no-fault divorce grounds involve separation for a longer period of time and hence, is not a speedy technique of divorce. But in the case of fault-grounds, the separation period can be comparatively short.

Divorce no-fault states

As has been mentioned earlier, all the states of USA are “no-fault divorce states” but in some states the divorce rules are stringent. They need to remain separated for a minimum stipulated period of time to be granted no-fault divorce. The amount of time to remain separated may range from 6 months to 2 years. The states which accept only no-fault grounds from divorce despite of substantial wrongdoing are Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

The central idea of the courts in these states is that divorce is to be awarded if there is a breakdown in communication, if the spouses are no more in live; there are differences of opinion etc. No two partners can be forced to stay together unhappily with each other and hence, divorce must be awarded to them no matter what the reasons or grounds of the divorce are.


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