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Why you don’t have to prove ‘fault’ in divorce anymore

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2022 | Divorce |

A divorce is not an easy thing to go through, but it is much easier than it used to be. For decades, to get divorced in the U.S., you had to prove that your spouse did something to provide grounds to end the marriage. This was known as fault divorce.

The only reasons you used to be able to get divorced over

In those days, Washington, along with every other state, set out the limited ground that justified ending a marriage. These typically included:

  • Adultery
  • Cruelty
  • The other spouse is in prison
  • Impotence
  • Incurable insanity

The process was much like a civil lawsuit. The spouse who wanted a divorce had to present evidence to prove the charge they were making against their husband or wife. As you can see, it was not possible to get divorced because your relationship with your spouse is broken or you have realized that you are incompatible, through nobody’s fault.

No-fault divorce opened the path

That changed with the introduction of no-fault divorce. Nowadays, married people in the Tacoma area can get divorced by claiming the “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage for any reason. Washington has completely done away with fault-based divorce, though many no-fault divorce states still offer fault divorce as an alternative. This greatly increased the freedom to end a dysfunctional or unhappy marriage.

But the fact that you no longer need to prove fault to be granted a divorce does not make the process of getting divorced faster or simpler. Parents must figure out whether to share child custody and what that will look like for them. The spouses must also divide their marital assets and determine if one of them is entitled to spousal support. But with the proper preparation and strategy, you can complete the process with no more stress and anxiety than necessary.