Marriages dissolve for countless reasons. Fractured relationships may mean more amicable breakups, while extreme circumstances can complicate divorce proceedings tremendously. The human instinct to assign blame in any conflict may make an at-fault divorce an appealing option for some distraught spouses. Determining fault is not as simple as it may seem, however.
Not every state allows at-fault dissolutions of marriage; Texas does. Will pursuing this course of action expedite your divorce? Your specific circumstances hold the answer to this question.
What is the difference between a fault and no-fault divorce?
Many marriages end due to “irreconcilable differences.” In other words, the relationship becomes too strained to repair. Both partners typically recognize that neither is directly to blame for the separation. Every state recognizes no-fault divorces.
An at-fault divorce usually stems from a specific cause, such as adultery, imprisonment, abandonment or cruelty. In these cases, one partner orchestrates these actions, putting that one person at fault for the divorce.
The different circumstances in these two types of divorce impact the filing process. Potential complications may arise in an at-fault case.
How can an at-fault divorce speed things up?
No-fault divorces require a 60-day waiting period. This delay allows couples to confirm that divorce is the only option for the relationship. An at-fault divorce waives this waiting period, so the marriage can end as soon as possible.
If the person filing has documented proof of fault and the accused party does not deny the charge, the divorce can finalize quickly. These are ideal circumstances in this type of separation; often, the situation does not meet these criteria.
How can an at-fault divorce slow things down?
When one partner declares the other at fault for the dissolution of marriage, the accused party does have an opportunity to object. In cases of adultery, if he or she can prove the other spouse condoned the behavior, then the courts may deny the request for an at-fault divorce.
Even without the waiting period, proving grounds for divorce can take time. Unless extreme circumstances exist, a no-fault divorce is typically the better route to take.
It is important to note that no-fault divorces do not necessarily have to last an eternity. A mediator can help facilitate divorce proceedings and land on a fair agreement within a short period of time. These collaborative divorces are a good option for partners who want a fast divorce.