Washington is a No-Fault Divorce state. This means that divorce does not require that there be wrongdoing on the part of either spouse. Instead, one spouse simply has to believe and declare that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Why is this helpful if you are about to go through divorce?
Marriages end in many different ways. Some couples amicably decide to bring things to an end and remain friendly. Other marriages end in strife and difficulty, with both partners feeling wronged. Most divorces fall somewhere between these two ends of the spectrum.
No matter how a marriage ends, keeping personal faults and mistakes out of the courtroom benefits everyone. Here are three reasons why no-fault divorce helps you.
No Guilty Spouse
Prior to 1970, every divorce in the United States required some kind of wrongdoing by one of the spouses. This usually meant adultery or cruelty, with the husband most often being the guilty spouse. In cases of adultery, he would have to testify about how he had cheated on his wife. If the charge was cruelty, the wife would be forced to recount the husbands acts of abuse in court.
The problem with this system was that it required one of the spouses to be guilty. If neither spouse had done anything wrong, the couple could not divorce. Therefore, some couples would invent wrongdoing. The made up adultery or cruelty would be testified to in court falsely so that the marriage could be ended.
With a no-fault divorce, there is no need for one of the spouses to be the “bad guy.” All the court needs to know is that at least one spouse believes that the marriage cannot be saved and that no reconciliation is possible.
No Need to Testify
Before no-fault divorces, evidence of wrongdoing had to be presented to the court in order for a couple to obtain a divorce. This required that details of the wrongdoing be put in writing and then testified to in court by one or both of the spouses. Such evidence then became part of the court record of the divorce.
If adultery occurred during the marriage, salacious details had to be presented as evidence in court. The guilty spouse would face giving a difficult and embarrassing testimony. These details would also become part of the permanent record of the case.
Airing the mistakes of either spouse in a divorce heightens emotions and fuels anger. It makes it difficult for the spouses to work together to make decisions and resolves issues.
Since all divorces are no-fault divorces today, there is no need to drudge up past mistakes made by the husband or the wife. Such personal matters can stay private and away from the public record of a divorce trial.
The Best Interests of the Children
When wrongdoing was required for a divorce, a great deal of effort went into proving it. The court would consider the evidence and determine which spouse was guilty and which was innocent. Other matters in the divorce were secondary to proving guilt.
In a modern divorce, the court focuses on more important issues, including focusing on the children. The court wants to make sure the best interests of the children are served by which parent they live with, how much time they spend with each parent, and how much child support is provided for their care.
If you are going through a divorce right now, you may be finding a lot of fault with your soon to be ex-spouse. It is tempting to make a list of everything you feel your spouse has ever done wrong to you. Many people feel that a divorce is the right time to air all grievances.
A no-fault divorce means that you do not need to focus on all the things that went wrong in your marriage. Instead you can use that energy to start building a new and better life for you and your children.
Want to learn more about no-fault divorce in Washington?
Divorce Lawyers For Men™ attorneys help husbands and fathers going through divorce. Meet in person with a Washington divorce lawyer who will be happy to explain the divorce process to you. Call us today at (877) 866-7393 to speak with an attorney who understands your situation and can offer real help.
If you would like more information on the divorce process, or to take the best divorce resources with you in print, please check out our free divorce guide for men or contact our family law office in Vancouver, WA to meet with an attorney about your particular circumstances.
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