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No-Fault Divorce versus Fault-Based Divorce

No-Fault Divorce and Fault-Based Divorce are two legal grounds for divorce that also happen to be the exact opposite of each other. As its names implies, in a no-fault divorce, neither spouse has to assert the other of wrongdoing in order to get divorced.

This category of divorce is reserved for irreconcilable differences such as falling out of love – not being able to work out the marriage. Irretrievable breakdown is the specific term used in Alabama law to refer to irreconcilable differences.

Fault-based divorce

In fault-based divorce, one spouse asserts the other of wrong doing. Many of the events that qualify for fault-based divorce in Alabama have specific time requirements. A few examples of fault include:

  • Adultery
  • Cruelty or violence
  • Addiction to drugs or alcohol after marriage
  • Pregnancy at the time of marriage without the husband’s awareness
  • Voluntarily abandoning and not providing food and shelter for 1 year
  • Wife lives in the state, apart from her husband – and with no support from him – for 2 years

There are a number of other situations that can qualify, including those related to crimes committed before and during a marriage.

Which type best fits the situation?

Divorce is an emotionally charged process that, for some, can create a lot of anger and resentment. Sometimes, one spouse may accuse the other of wrongdoing that doesn’t actually qualify under state law as fault-based divorce. Experienced attorneys who deal with divorce can advise on the best approach to filing for divorce or defending against an at-fault allegation.

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