Historically, a spouse would need “grounds”—meaning a good reason—to have their marriage dissolved by the courts. Over time, many jurisdictions moved away from requiring spouses to prove who was at fault before a marriage could formally end. This led to what is now known as no-fault divorce.
You can seek a no-fault divorce with the help of an experienced divorce attorney. This process is typically more straightforward, shorter, and more cost-effective than fighting in court over who was responsible for the breakdown of a marriage. Let an Alpharetta no-fault divorce lawyer help you review your options and decide on the best path forward.
A no-fault divorce is just like any other divorce case, with one important difference. Instead of proving that you have grounds for divorce, you only need to establish that irreconcilable differences have led to the breakdown of your marriage.
Proving irreconcilable differences is notably more straightforward than many of the fault-based grounds for divorce. Often, the details associated with fault-based grounds are sensitive in nature and can lead to heated disputes. Some of the common grounds for fault-based divorce include infidelity, desertion, or habitual intoxication.
The technical requirements of a no-fault divorce are the same as a fault-based proceeding. To begin with, there is a residency requirement that applies to all divorce cases—no fault divorce included. For a family court to grant a divorce, a spouse must have lived in the state for six months prior to filing the petition. Only one spouse must meet this requirement, and it does not have to be the person that files the petition.
It is possible that pursuing a no-fault divorce could bring the process to an end faster compared to using fault-based grounds. That said, in Georgia, there is a 31-day mandatory waiting period before the courts will issue a divorce decree. An Alpharetta attorney can help you navigate the requirements for no-fault divorce proceedings.
There are several notable benefits that come with the no-fault approach. For most people, this route is a shorter, more concise process that can help avoid lengthy litigation. While both parties might agree that the marriage is beyond repair, allegations of infidelity or another mistreatment could spark disputes, conflict, and litigation.
Drawn-out legal proceedings can cost you more than just time. The more contentious a divorce case is, the more likely you are to run up substantial legal fees. Battling over these issues can be costly.
The no-fault divorce approach also potentially protects your privacy. When you are forced to litigate issues like infidelity or marital strife, it occurs in open court and winds up on the public record. There is no incentive to bring those issues into the courtroom during a no-fault divorce, which can reduce the extent of exposure the public has to your personal details.
While a no-fault divorce has its benefits, there are also some instances where a fault-based divorce may be a better strategic move. This includes domestic abuse scenarios and cases where one partner makes a significant amount more than the other. A skilled Alpharetta attorney can review the details of your situation to help you better understand your options and whether a no-fault divorce is appropriate in your circumstances.
Ending a marriage is never easy, but the process does not have to be full of conflict. A no-fault divorce can offer you a path toward the next stage in life without spending time and money on costly litigation.