Advantages of a No-Fault Divorce
Generally, there are two categories of divorce: fault and no-fault. Fault-based divorce requires an accusation. Spouses essentially sue one another for divorce under claims of adultery, intolerable cruelty, and other such claims. At least 33 states allow couples to accuse one another in the fault system, which is 66% of the country.
The other 34% of states are “no-fault divorce” states. In these regions, couples are not required to legally justify the divorce. They can simply cite “irreconcilable differences” as their reason for ending the marriage. Even within “fault divorce” states, most allow couples the no-fault option as well.
California is a no-fault state. Regardless of whether your divorce is the result of some “fault” behaviors, you can still file for divorce and go through with the process. Here are some advantages to a no-fault divorce, regardless of the state where you reside.
No-Fault Divorce Has Less to Prove
In a fault-based divorce, you must prove your claims of adulty, cruelty, abandonment, etc. This means providing evidence, introducing witnesses, as so on. The whole process looks more like a criminal or civil case, with each side attempting to prove or disprove the claims.
In a no-fault divorce, there’s nothing to prove. There’s no need to produce evidence or any other accusatory materials.
You can, however, still bring up claims in divorce court. You are free to accuse one another of the fault behaviors. The purpose, however, is not to justify the divorce. Bringing up such matters in a no-fault has different outcomes. It can affect property division or spousal support orders. In matters of abuse, presenting evidence serves to help protect the victim and the children from the abuser.
No-Fault Divorce Gives You the Option to Avoid Court
When both sides agree that a marriage is over, they may also agree on other matters related to the divorce. If they are civil enough to file for a no-fault divorce, they may come to terms on property division, spousal and child support, and child custody. In amicable, agreeable divorces, there’s no need to include lawyers in this process. The couple should allow an attorney to look over the agreement, simply to make sure all arrangements have been properly covered. Beyond that, the couple might be able to file their agreements with the courts, pay the necessary fees, and move on.
In most situations, couples will find it hard to negotiate. Bitter feelings and opposing needs can create conflict. For these couples, we recommend mediation. This process gives you the chance to meet with a neutral third party. This mediator works for both of you and helps you reach agreements that satisfy you both. The best mediators also have specialized psychological training. This can help keep conversations and negotiations moving forward while simultaneously keeping talks civil.
One of the biggest advantages of negotiating through your divorce is the sense of agency you might feel over your decisions. No one has “ordered” or “forced” you into anything. Every aspect of the divorce is something you overtly agreed to, and this can help create a peace of mind as you move toward the next phase of your life.
Our firm can help you with your no-fault divorce, whether you must go to court or decide to negotiate terms with your spouse. For a free consultation, call us today at (949) 565-4158 or contact us online.