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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Difference between fault and no fault divorce in Massachusetts

Massachusetts residents going through divorce likely have a lot to think about. Divorce can involve many components, including child support, child custody, alimony and property division. All of these components can involve many legal complexities. Because divorce can be such a lengthy and sometimes challenging process, it can be helpful to have an understanding of some of the legal nuances involved. Of course, attorneys may be able to help explain these nuances in greater detail.

One of the nuances involved in divorce involves the difference between fault and no fault divorce. Although some states no longer recognize fault divorces, in Massachusetts, divorce is still categorized as fault or no fault. No fault divorces are divorce cases in which neither party has to prove the fault of the other spouse. The spouse simply has to give any reason that the state honors for divorce; the spouse does not need to prove fault.

On the other hand, fault divorces involve cases where one party proves the fault of the other spouse. The grounds for granting a fault divorce can include adultery, prison confinement, a spouse being unable to have sexual intercourse, a lengthy abandonment, and one spouse inflicting emotional or physical harm on the other spouse. The state does not require the spouses seeking a fault divorce to be living together for a set amount of time. The spouse without fault will also often be awarded a greater portion of the marital property and/or support.

Understanding the many complexities involved in divorce cases often requires the expertise of an attorney. Thankfully, attorneys with experience in family law are available to guide divorcing couples through the potential steps of the process.

Source: FindLaw, "An overview of no fault and fault divorce," accessed on March 1, 2016

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