Thursday 6 August 2020
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Some Fundamental Aspects of ‘Fault’ Divorce

You are entitled to a fault divorce, depending on the state you live in. But before you proceed, it’s important to have a rudimentary knowledge of the fault grounds for filing a divorce.

How to Define a “Fault” Divorce?

A fault divorce is likely to be granted when there are required grounds for a divorce and at least, one partner requests that the divorce be granted on the presented grounds of fault. Remember that not all states allow fault divorces.

The traditional grounds for fault divorce include:

  • Cruelty (unnecessary assaults, physical or mental) – it’s the commonest ground for divorce;
  • Desertion for a certain period of time
  • Imprisonment for a specified number of years
  • Physical incapability of coupling, if kept secret until marriage

Why Choose a Fault Divorce?

Some people are unwilling to wait out the separation period – a requirement to fulfill a ‘no-fault’ divorce as per their state’s law. In addition, some states have laws that allow a spouse, who presents evidence for the other party’s fault, to receive more alimony or a greater share of the marital assets.

What if both partners are at fault? In that case, both spouses present grounds of the fault, and the court, after hearing both sides, will grant a divorce to the party who is least ‘at fault’ under “comparative rectitude”. The doctrine has abolished an age-old practice that used to deny any spouse’s right to seek divorce if both of them were found to be at fault.

The absurdity of the outcome necessitated introducing the concept of comparative rectitude that the modern-day ‘fault divorce’ is based on if both spouses have grounds of fault.

Whether or Not a Spouse Can Prevent a Court from Granting a Fault Divorce

It’s not possible for one spouse to prevent a no-fault divorce. Raising an objection to the other spouse’s appeal for divorce is itself a conflicting difference that would set the ground for justification of the divorce.

However, a spouse can stop a fault divorce by convincing the court with strong evidence in support of his or her not being at fault. In addition, many other defenses to a fault divorce may have strong possibilities.

Condonation: It’s someone’s approval of other spouse’s unethical activities. A wife not objecting to her husband’s adultery is a case in point and maybe believed to condone it. If, at some point of time, the wife brings an allegation of adultery against her husband, he may defend himself by claiming that his wife condoned his activity.

Connivance:  It creates a situation to directly or indirectly provoke others to commit a wrongdoing. If a husband invites his wife’s ex-boyfriend to the dinner and leaves home for a week, he may be believed to have staged her adultery. If the person brings a charge of adultery against her wife, she may put forth an argument that he set up the plot cascading open the alleged consequences.

Provocation: It involves enflaming other to commit a wrongdoing. If a wife sues her husband that he abandoned her, the person may argue in his defense that the action was actually provoked by his spouse.

With tight knots of so many considerations and complexities involved, you should confide in an experienced Toledo family lawyer to know the right course of action suitable in your situation to be granted a divorce.