Legal proceedings In A Fault Vs. No-Fault Divorce

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsMost of the states in America follow the concept of no fault divorce, wherein an individual seeking a legal separation or a divorce from their spouse has no need to prove their partner’s fault leading to the dissolution of their marriage. In such cases, the individual has to merely state the reason for the separation as either ‘irreconcilable differences’ or ‘irreparable breakdown of the marriage’. The court of law would then accept the individual’s lawsuit, and proceed with the litigation as per the general legalities involved in a divorce. In the event of a no fault divorce lawsuit, the other spouse’s refusal to the petition of his partner is also viewed as an irreconcilable difference, by the court. The State of California too follows the concept of no fault divorce. 

What is a fault divorce?

The concept of fault divorce is hardly recognized by any state in the present times. However, the ones that do function accordingly require the spouse filing a petition for a divorce, to furnish an authentic legal fault of his partner. 

What are the grounds for getting a fault divorce?

The states recognize a few statutory grounds, on which a fault divorce can be granted to an individual. We are listing a few of the actions of a partner that might be viewed as the basis of procuring a divorce by the other partner.

  • Inhuman or cruel treatment.
  • Abandonment of the plaintiff by the defendant for a specific length of time.
  • Prison confinement of the defendant for a specific time period after the marriage.
  • A physical disability, of the defendant, that restrains him from having sexual intimacy with the plaintiff.

What are the legalities involved in a fault divorce?

In the event that both the partners are looking for a fault divorce, they both need to prove in the court of law, the incompetency of each other. In such case, the court decides the verdict through ‘comparative rectitude’, which implies that the court will determine the partner who is least at fault of the two.

The defendant of the fault divorce lawsuit has the right to either entirely condone the blame put on him by the plaintiff, or present a defense counsel to refute the charges on him. A few of the major defenses filed against a fault divorce are connivance, condonation, recrimination, provocation and collusion.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation