Fault and No-Fault Divorce in Albany
There are many reasons why a marriage could end in divorce. Some end as a result of clear and egregious violations while others are simply a result of irreconcilable differences. When a couple decides to end their marriage they must choose between having either a fault or no-fault divorce in Albany. If you are choosing to dissolve your marriage, you should retain the services of a divorce attorney who could advocate on your behalf and help achieve a favorable outcome.
How Does Albany Recognize No-Fault Divorce?
No-fault divorce is recognized in a section of the Domestic Relations Act 170(7) and must involve a breakdown of the marital relationship for a period of six months or more. The purpose of a no-fault divorce is to facilitate the judicial process when both parties want to accomplish the divorce with little to no litigation. It simplifies the pleadings so the spouses do not have to focus on battling over fault.
As a local attorney could further explain, a no-fault divorce proceeding might be delayed if the couple has not yet reached the threshold of the six months of marriage breakdown or if they do not meet a residency requirement. There might also be issues with serving the papers to the other spouse if their whereabouts are unknown.
Filing For No-Fault Divorce
To begin a no-fault divorce, one spouse must file a summons with a notice explaining the grounds and naming all parties involved. Alternatively, they can file a summons with a complaint that sets forth the parameters of fault. A specific description of the marriage break down is not necessary, only a sworn statement from one spouse stating that the marriage has been irretrievably broken for a period of six months or more, and cannot be mended.
An experienced attorney could help simplify the filings for a no-fault divorce and assure that they are properly completed so that the court will not have to intervene, and neither of the two spouses would need to appear in court.
What Constitutes a Fault Divorce?
A fault divorce could occur due to the abandonment of a spouse, cruel and inhumane treatment, or simply living pursuant to a written Separation Agreement for a period of one year or more.
It might make sense to pursue a fault divorce in the event that the cause of the marriage dissolution is so egregious that it could affect the distribution of their assets, or if the abuse is so bad that someone’s life was in danger. Due to religious reasons, many do not believe in divorce, and separation is not an option, so they may feel they need to prove fault for a religious annulment.
Fault divorce does not require that the couple separate for any length of time. However, if someone wants to divorce based on the grounds of abandonment, then it requires their spouse to have been gone for more than one year.
Fault has no significant effect on how assets are distributed unless it affects the best interest of the children, or if the fault was egregious or violent. However, the opposing spouse can file a counterclaim alleging that the one who filed for the divorce was also at fault.
If there is a disagreement over fault they can take it to a trial and submit evidence. A judge would then grant the divorce on the basis of one of their arguments. In most situations, there is no real reason to argue or challenge fault unless they absolutely do not want the divorce, in which case they would go to trial. Most spouses in Albany have chosen to file under the no-fault provisions because very little evidence is required and fault-based cases are far more complicated.
Albany Divorces Can Be Settled Through Fault or No-Fault
If you are planning to go through a divorce in Albany, whether from fault or no-fault, you do not need to do it alone. You should retain the services of a skilled divorce lawyer to help you through the process and come to a fair and justified conclusion with your spouse. Call today to begin a free consultation.