The links between no-fault divorce and property division

In most states, couples are not required to prove fault when seeking a divorce. They are able to make use of no-fault divorce laws that allow a marriage to end without one party making the argument that the other has done something to irreparably break the marriage. Many Florida residents strongly believe that no-fault divorce is a good thing for couples and for families. There are plenty of cases in which the marriage simply did not work out and there is no one to blame for the demise of the relationship. Some also feel that a no-fault divorce can make it easier to move through the property division process.

Dividing marital wealth can be a challenge, even when parties agree that ending the marriage is the right thing to do. When couples are placed in an adversarial position, the entire process can become far more complicated. Discussions on how to divide assets and personal property are harder to have when one spouse is actively building a case against the other. Not only will the party who is at fault be placed in a defensive position, but the other party could come to embrace the concept that he or she does not share part of the blame for the end of the marriage.

It should also be said that divorces that are centered on the concept of fault can also take longer to resolve than those where couples can agree that no one is to blame. That leaves more time for one or both parties to move on and enter into new relationships. If property division was complicated previously, adding more opinions into the mix can only serve to make things worse.

Many Florida residents will watch to see how the issue is handled and whether other states consider similar changes to divorce law. There is no clear evidence that removing no-fault divorce as an option serves to strengthen marriages. It does seem clear, however, that placing parties in an adversarial position can complicate property division and other matters that need to be addressed during the end of a marriage.  

Source:, “Much fault in junking no-fault divorce“, Maria Anglin, Jan. 7, 2017

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