Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce

Do you need a legal reason to divorce your spouse in Minnesota? This may seem like an obvious question, but the reality is that most people do not know whether their state is a fault or no-fault divorce state. Distinguishing between a fault divorce and a no-fault divorce is important. Here, we want to discuss the two, as well as whether it is possible to get a no-fault divorce in Minnesota.

What is a “Fault” Divorce?

A fault divorce is one that is granted when the legally required grounds for divorce are present and at least one spouse asked for the divorce to be granted on those grounds of fault. There are only a few states across the country that allow fault divorces, and the grounds for divorce in those states are typically a combination of the following:

  • Adultery
  • Cruelty (including the infliction of physical pain or unnecessary emotional pain)
  • Desertion of the other spouse for a determined period of time
  • Physical inability to engage in sexual intercourse that was not disclosed before the marriage
  • Confinement in prison for a determined number of years

There are various reasons why a person would choose a fault divorce over a no-fault divorce in states that allow it. This could include the fact that most fault divorces will not require a waiting period before the divorce can be finalized, thereby speeding up the divorce process. Additionally, a spouse who proves the other’s fault may be able to recover additional property or alimony as a result.

What is a “No-Fault” Divorce?

A no-fault divorce is one where any spouse asking for a divorce will not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. Every state in the country allows for no-fault divorces. In order to get a no-fault divorce, one spouse only needs to state the reason for the divorce. In most states throughout the country, it is enough for a couple (or one spouse) to declare that they can simply not get along. This will often be cited as “incompatibility” or “irreconcilable differences.”

Getting Divorced in Minnesota

Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state. In this state, there is no mandatory waiting period before a person is granted a divorce. However, one of the parties seeking a divorce must have been a Minnesota resident for at least 180 days before filing for divorce. After one spouse files for divorce in Minnesota, the other spouse will have 30 days from the day of receiving the divorce summons and a petition to file their answer with the court.

Experienced Mankato Divorce Attorneys

If you or somebody you care about is considering getting a divorce in Mankato, you need to speak to a skilled attorney as soon as possible. At Knutson+Casey, we are ready to get to work on your behalf. Our team will be ready to help whether your divorce is uncontested or contested. Our Mankato divorce attorneys want to ensure you are treated fairly throughout this process. You can contact us for a free consultation online or by calling (507) 344-8888.