Which States Are No-Fault Divorce States in US?

April 12, 2021

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The United States and Canada had introduced no-fault divorce laws in the late 1960s, and this law is now common in many Western countries. Well, you must be wondering what exactly does no-fault divorce mean, right?

A no-fault divorce describes any divorce where both partners find it difficult to get along and fix the marriage. In such a form of a divorce, you need a handful of reasons to prove substantial divorce grounds.

A fault divorce is a form of divorce where a partner blames the other partner for the marriage to end. Some of the common types of fault divorce include cheating, abuse, adultery, and abandonment, to name a few. 

On the basis of these allegations, a partner can file a case against the other in court. This form of divorce would require a trial in court and is usually time-consuming and tiring. 

If you are seeking a divorce in the US or Canada, much depends on the states where you reside. Each state has its own rules and acts, which can vary in the process depending on which state you live in. 

The rules in Canada are determined by the Divorce Act (1986). In Canada, too, different provinces have their own set of laws and acts, but the guidelines are the same in most of the provinces of Canada, excluding Quebec.

Origin of No-Fault Divorce

In 1953, the Oklahoma state in the US introduced the no-fault divorce where a partner could end the marriage without finding fault in order to proceed with a divorce. After 16 years, in late 1969, with The Family Law Act, California followed the no-fault divorce process. 

See also  How can I get a Divorce in Ontario?

Most states now have laws that allow no-fault divorce. Some of the USA states like Arkansas and Louisiana still do not recognize this form of divorce. In these states, you have to prove your partner’s fault before the court for the divorce to be granted. Some of the no-fault divorce states list in the US that follow this form of divorce are:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

The no-fault divorce laws in both Canada and the US are different and can change. So, you need to have a clear picture of which form of divorce will be beneficial. With that said, let us look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of no-fault divorce that you might want to know.

Advantages of No-Fault Divorce

  • This form of divorce is quicker, easier, and less expensive
  • There would be less conflict in such divorce case equals decreased emotional harm to dependents.
  • Marital assets are based on the partner’s ability to pay. These assets are divided wholly on mutual agreement.
  • It can help people who are in abusive relationships to leave because there is no proof to justify the abuse to the court. 

So, these were some of the advantages of no-fault divorce. With advantages, it will tend to have disadvantages too. Now let us look at some of the disadvantages of no-fault divorce, which you may need to know.

Disadvantages of No-Fault Divorce

  • Spousal support is not granted in a no-fault divorce. This can prove to be hectic and can drain you financially, especially when children are involved.
  • On a religious and moral basis, so consider no-fault divorce is easily accessible, and some think that it devalues marriage vows. 
See also  How to file for a divorce in PA?

Requirements to File for No-Fault Divorce

There are certain criteria and requirements that you need to know before filing for a no-fault divorce. Canada’s no-fault divorce can be different as compared to the US. 

The states with no-fault divorce laws have requirements when partners decide that they cannot fix their marriage. Listed below are some conditions that you need to know before you file for a no-fault divorce.

  • Some states in Canada and the US require you to stay physically separate from your partner for few months. This is one of the requirements before you file for a no-fault divorce. Some states have different rules, and they keep on changing depending on where you reside.
  • Even when one partner disagrees with the divorce, you can still file for a no-fault divorce. One can use the no-fault forms that are available on your state court website. If your partner fails to show up for the hearing, the court has the right to grant a default judgment. 
  • When there is a mutual agreement between both parties, you can go for marital assets made with an attorney’s help. When you both agree to the terms of the divorce, like division of assets and child custody, then you can settle the matter without going for a trial in court. This is called an uncontested divorce.
  • When you and your partner do not agree to the divorce’s specific terms, it is called a no-fault contested divorce. To avoid such a situation, the best way is to talk to your partner and make things work out related to the divorce terms. Even after talks, if both the partners cannot agree, then both would require attorneys and a trial in the court to sort things out. A contested divorce usually takes a lot of time and is very tiring. Even if you get a divorce, you may still find yourself doing regular visit rounds, especially for child custody issues. 
  • Before filing for a no-fault divorce, it is always advisable to talk to your attorney. You should consider doing this because help or advice from your attorney can solve all your doubts regarding the divorce terms.
See also  Things You Should Know About the Division of Property After Divorce in Ontario

These are some of the requirements that you should need to know to file for a no-fault divorce. If you satisfy and meet these requirements, then you can get a divorce quickly.