Fault and No Fault Divorces Law and Legal Definition

State laws vary, but some states allow for divorces without fault of either party to be proven, as well as divorces based on fault of either spouse. In fault divorces, the petition for divorce must state grounds for divorce. Such grounds may include cruelty, adultery, drunkenness, abandonment, and other types of misconduct.

The most common ground for granting a no-fault divorce is "irreconcilable differences". The court must find that there are such differences and lack of harmony that no reasonable expectation of reconciliation exists. No-fault divorce eliminates this potentially embarrassing and adversarial requirement by providing for the dissolution of a marriage on a finding that the relationship is no longer viable. Some states still require at least a minimal showing of fault, but no-fault divorce is now the rule in which "incompatibility" is sufficient to grant a divorce.