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Do you need cause for a divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2021 | Divorce |

If you watch a movie about a couple filing for divorce, there’s probably a dramatic reason for it. For instance, one spouse walks in on the other amid an affair or finds out that their spouse is involved in criminal activity. It’s clear exactly why they’ve decided to end the marriage. 

But do you actually need a reason like that? What if you don’t have one? Can you still get divorced?

The move to no-fault divorce

People used to need a reason, but modern laws embrace the concept of no-fault divorce. As the name implies, this means that no one needs to be at fault, and you don’t have to prove that a divorce is warranted. 

Instead, all you have to do is state that the union has “broken down irretrievably,” and then you can get a divorce. Your spouse can’t stop you from doing so. You don’t have to prove anything to the court. If you honestly want a divorce, it will be granted. 

This can mean essentially anything you want it to. It could mean you simply aren’t in love with your spouse. It could mean you’ve drifted apart. It could mean you are in love but still think you’d be better off as a single person instead of a couple. 

It can also mean you have a major reason, such as infidelity, of course. In some cases, the reason for divorce can impact the division of assets or child custody. But you’re not obligated to arrive with a reason that will convince the court to allow you to get divorced. 

If you do decide to end your marriage, just consider the legal steps to take after filing.