Do I Have to Prove Fault for My Divorce?

Getting divorced comes with all sorts of issues you may not know how to handle. Even if you and your spouse are doing this amicably, you might run into some emotional and legal issues you weren’t prepared for. One of the big questions you might have is, “Do I have to prove fault for my divorce?” It might depend on where you live.

No-Fault States

People who live in no-fault states will not have to prove the other spouse is at fault for destroying the marriage. You could simply dislike the way your spouse does or does not complete a certain chore, and could state “irreconcilable differences” on the divorce complaint. The judge won’t ask for any other information regarding those irreconcilable differences because fault would not be an issue.

Being in a no-fault state, it may be easier for you to obtain a divorce than it would be in a fault state. Some states do require you and your spouse to live apart from each other for a certain amount of time before the divorce can be obtained, but that happens in many cases anyway, so it shouldn’t be a huge issue. If you’ve been living together up to this point, one of you would need to move completely out of the residence for that period of time.

Fault States

If you are required to prove fault for your divorce, it may get a little complicated, but not so much that a lawyer can’t handle the job. If fault is required, your divorce complaint would have to claim something like adultery, the inability to have sex, prison confinement, physical or emotional abuse, or another similar serious issue.

Unless you already have the evidence that proves your claim, your lawyer can help you dig up what you need to present to a judge. You might have pictures or emails that prove adultery, or you might have medical bills and photos that show physical abuse. If your spouse is in prison, you could get his or her court documents to provide as proof.

Getting in Touch with a Lawyer

When you’re faced with a divorce, it may be overwhelming thinking of everything you need to do. Whether you are required to show fault or not, you might want to have a lawyer help you through the divorce process. Contact a divorce lawyer, like the lawyers at May Law, LLP to learn more about what you need to do and to get started with your divorce complaint.