“No-fault divorce” is in effect in every state in the U.S., except Illinois and South Dakota. In a no-fault divorce, neither spouse is required to prove “fault” or marital misconduct on the part of the other. To obtain a divorce, a spouse must merely assert incompatibility or irreconcilable differences, meaning the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This means that the other spouse cannot threaten to “fight” a divorce. There is no testimony taken as to why the marriage is ending, and marital misconduct cannot be used to achieve a division of property favorable to the “innocent” spouse.
I am curious to hear from you. I practice in a no-fault state. Many of my clients have been surprised to learn that “marital misconduct” does not result in a division of property, or award of spousal maintenance (alimony), which is favorable to the innocent spouse.
What do you think?