No-Fault Divorce vs. Fault Divorce – Which is Better?

It is understandable why people say “stay together for the kids.”  Staying together seems like common sense, especially if the reason for divorcing is “I’m just not happy,” also known as no-fault divorce.  All states are now “no-fault” states, meaning you can file for divorce under the reason “irreconcilable differences” or something similar.  There are some states that still allow you to file for a specific reason otherwise known as “fault divorce”; however, a specific reason is not required.  Some more conservative states do give more weight to the spouse that files a fault divorce when dividing assets; however, it really depends on the judge.  Family law is a system that capitalizes on people’s misery and it is very questionable how attorneys and judges can maintain their sense of humanity while practicing family law under 21st Century conditions (one very good reason to avoid divorce if you do not have a good reason for filing a divorce).  If there is truly no-fault on the other party, file no-fault and follow through during divorce proceedings.  File online if you have a short marriage, no assets and no children.

A no-fault divorce was created for several reasons (this is opinion, not fact).

#1 Money making engine – Divorcing without cause increases earning potential for everyone in the divorce industry.  Couples who are parents have more stress on their relationship than other couples, so divorcing without a real reason is more common.  There is no such thing as a fast divorce when children and assets are involved, because emotions run high concerning loved ones and money – attorneys do not put on the brakes especially if they know your income.  Couples that are empty nesters lack the glue of the family unit and are more likely to become discontent without a real reason as well.  Empty nesters are a goldmine because they have accumulated more wealth than the young families.  Attorneys gotta know what they are working with.  You are their livelihood and they want to get paid $$$.

#2 Keep things private – Divorce information is available to the public.  First, anyone can attend a divorce hearing and second, anyone can request anything on a specific divorce.  By filing “irreconcilable differences” the run of the mill person cannot access the details unless you disclose them through the process (remember emotions run hot in divorce especially if the attorneys add fuel to the fire to guarantee a good payout).  You may want to keep things private; however, if you lack self-control through the process or ruffle the feathers of your spouse, privacy and frivolous motions or request for orders or even declarations can and will ruin your life at least temporarily.  Going to court is worse than going to the DMV.

#3 Increase the number of people divorcing – Less people are marrying and less people are divorcing.  In any business if the number of your customers decrease, the business owner must downsize or create demand.  Having a no-fault divorce makes it easy for people to call it quits.  In fact, if you have any enemies and you are married, better guard your marriage and run your business wisely; because you could be a target for the money hungry hippo.  The unknowing spouse may even become a target which is outside your control.

A fault divorce or grounds for a divorce means there is a defined reason for the divorce.

The reasons for divorce vary by state and are not strictly governed by a moral code.  It is uncertain how each item makes the list.  A common reason is adultery (some others include: imprisonment, domestic violence, disability, alcoholism, etc.)

If one of these is occurring it is best to disclose it, especially if there are children in the household.  If one of these is not occurring, any decent human being should file a “no-fault” divorce, because divorce is extremely painful.  You add insult to injury if you falsely claim anything and you are hurting those divorce cases that really have a legitimate reason like domestic violence.  Family law is not criminal law, it should be called creative family law, often cases that have real problems get overlooked, because so many people have taken advantage of the system (a system that is run by people and paperwork).  A system run by people means mistakes happen, bias does occur and poor judgements can be made.

Family law was only conceived in roughly the last 100 years and the moral standard varies by state and county and practicing judicial procedure is only enforced when there is accountability.  There is less accountability when there is less money available for the courts to run which enables corruption.  Some attorneys and/or judges are not corrupted, but choose to deal with the system without changing it because it could negatively impact their practice (family law is a closed network and the people divorcing are only passing through).  Others actively leverage the corruption to further their career or increase their standard of living and others use it as a tool for dominance, control, revenge or payback.  It should be unlawful for any mediation divorce to go to court and there should be a cap on expenditures for those who have a somewhat amicable divorce or make under $100k (value of assets excluded from determination), family law is the Wild West. If there is truly no-fault on the other party, file no-fault and follow through during divorce proceedings.