If there's one question that a divorce lawyer will quickly smack away in most cases, it's the question of whether a client should pursue an at-fault divorce. You may be wondering why this is, and it's worth looking at your situation through the eyes of a divorce attorney to understand why the no-fault route is so heavily preferred. Here's how to examine your circumstances to determine whether an at-fault divorce filing may — against all probabilities — be worth the effort.
Does Your State Allow It?
No-fault divorce is the de facto law of the land, but that's not the same as saying it's the only option in most states. Some states only allow no-fault divorce, but most also allow at-fault divorce, at least in theory. If your state is exclusively no-fault, then you've arrived at your answer.
What Are Your Motivations?
Be serious with yourself about your motivations for wanting to prove fault in the end of your marriage. If the answer is that you just want to litigate that your ex sucks, then stop yourself before you say anything in front of a judge. You will save yourself a lot of embarrassment and legal expenses. The court isn't there to litigate who made the marriage go sour unless there is an extremely compelling reason to do so.
In most cases, family courts don't care about adultery, abuse, and abandonment, at least as far as they pertain to the simple question of should a marriage be ended. To the extent those issues do matter, such as spousal battery or child abuse, those are separate questions that require restraining orders, criminal investigations, and other proceedings outside the scope of a divorce hearing.
Are There Alternatives?
Extreme cases of premarital misrepresentation may allow one alternative: annulment. The court may grant an annulment if something very important wasn't disclosed, such as your ex still being legally married at the time they married you.
Is There Anything Worth Fighting Over?
One motivation that animates the belief that fault is worth proving is the idea that there might be a financial upside. Rare is the case that justifies the costs that go into proving fault. Conversely, there are many cases where an ex finds out their former partner's coin collection wasn't worth enough to even cover the cost of having a divorce lawyer dig into the matter. It's usually best to take the standard split of assets under the no-fault system and get on with life.
For more information, contact a law practice like Gomez May LLP.Share
15 October 2019
My name is Noni. When I was in college, I was hit by a car while crossing the street. My life was never in danger, but I did break a few bones and had a lot of huge medical bills. I was hoping I wouldn't have to get involved with an attorney, but unfortunately, it came down to that. I used a family friend who is an accident attorney to get some compensation. A few years later, I was hit while riding my bike and had to go through the same process. I suppose I'm lucky to be alive. And it's thanks to accident attorneys that I have been able to put my life back together. I started this blog as a way to let others know just how much lawyers can help you in certain situations.