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What does “no-fault divorce” mean?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2021 | Divorce |

For many individuals, their ideas about divorce are influenced by what they have seen and heard through popular media sources such as movies, books and television shows. For these couples, divorce becomes a product of fault. In general, one of the parties did something that led to the end of the marriage. Common grounds for divorce can include:

  • Adultery
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Intolerable cruelty
  • Fraudulent contract
  • Absence from marriage for at least seven years

In Connecticut, however, couples might choose to seek a no-fault divorce. Typically, this means that the couple have simply grown apart. Perhaps their career goals, educational goals or family goals have changed leading to a change in relationship. When seeking a no-fault divorce, there are two grounds that can be pursued:

  • Irretrievably broken: In this situation, the relationship is broken beyond repair. The couple agrees there is no chance they will get back together, and divorce is the only solution.
  • Separation: This scenario is applicable if the couple has lived separate and apart due to incompatibility for a continuous period of at least 18 months.

Many people, unfortunately, confuse a no-fault divorce with an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the divorcing couple is in agreement regarding most aspects including the division of assets, division of debt responsibility, support arrangements and child custody. In a no-fault divorce, however, it is not uncommon that the only thing the couple agrees on is that the marriage is over. They might still have to reach financial and parenting time solutions through numerous stages of negotiation and compromise.

A marriage can end for countless reasons. From infidelity and criminal activity to money trouble and drug addiction, couples could decide that a divorce is the best option for both their futures. Unfortunately, ending a marriage can be a complicated process and couples should proceed with the guidance of an experienced lawyer.