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Roadblocks To Divorce: Fault Can Backfire

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If you've been planning to request a divorce from your spouse, you know that a no-fault divorce means you don't have to prove something is wrong in the marriage in order to end it. However, a lot of misinformation still persists about getting a divorce, including the role your spouse plays in finally approving a divorce agreement. While there are things your spouse can do to make it difficult, they are not things that are easy to do. However, you must be sure that you file for a no-fault divorce because if you try to bring fault into the proceedings, you could suddenly find yourself denied a divorce.

Fault vs. No-Fault

All states allow no-fault marriages; New York became the last state to start granting them in 2010. In a no-fault marriage, one person can simply claim "irreconcilable differences" and get the divorce either through agreement or a court proceeding. In a fault divorce -- the old type -- the person requesting the divorce had to prove that the other spouse did something like commit adultery.

In a no-fault divorce, the other spouse can try to delay the divorce, try to avoid being served divorce papers, refuse to sign the papers, and so on. These make getting the divorce finalized difficult, but they can't stop the divorce from being approved. In other words, if you file for a no-fault divorce, hang in there because eventually the court will have had enough of your spouse's antics.

You do have to be sure you've filed in the state in which you have residency (this is a concern if you recently moved to another state during your separation), but other than that, no-faults eventually get approved. Some judges like to send couples to counseling, but in the end, even that can't stop no-fault divorces from happening.

Fault Can Be Denied

Here's where remembering to file for a no-fault divorce becomes so important. If you think that your spouse is going to make things difficult for you, you might be tempted to file for a fault-based divorce on the grounds of cruelty or something similar because that might speed up the proceedings. That is not the case. Once you file for a fault divorce, your spouse can go to work proving you wrong. And worse, the court can deny the divorce if your spouse manages to prove that your charges can't stick.

If you think that your spouse is going to give you a hard time, contact a local divorce attorney. In the end it will still be easier to file for a no-fault divorce, and your attorney can help you navigate the best route to getting the divorce approved without much fuss.

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