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Which States Have No Fault Divorce?

by
author image A.L. Kennedy
A.L. Kennedy is a professional grant writer and nonprofit consultant. She has been writing and editing for various nonfiction publications since 2004. Her work includes various articles on nonprofit law, human resources, health and fitness for both print and online publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Alabama.
Which States Have No Fault Divorce?
A close-up of a woman taking off her wedding ring. Photo Credit BernardaSv/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

A "no-fault" divorce is any divorce in which the spouse asking for divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. Often, it is enough simply to state that the parties cannot successfully get along anymore. Most U.S. states offer no-fault divorce, but a few require a period of separation before a no-fault divorce will be granted.

States with No-Fault Divorce and No Waiting Period

The states that offer no-fault divorce without requiring a period of separation are:
Alaska
Arizona
California
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Maine
Massachusetts
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
South Dakota
Washington
Wisconsin
Wyoming

In these states, a couple may obtain a no-fault divorce without first meeting any separation requirement. Some of these states also offer legal separation instead of divorce.

No-Fault Divorce With Separation Requirement

Some states require the parties to live apart for a minimum length of time before seeking a no-fault divorce. The length of time required varies by state and ranges from 180 days to five years. The states that require a period of separation, and the minimum length of separation, are:

Alabama - 2 years
Connecticut - 18 months
Hawaii - 2 years
Idaho - 5 years
Illinois - 2 years
Louisiana - 180 days
Minnesota - 180 days
Nevada - 1 year
Ohio - 1 year
Pennsylvania - 2 years
Rhode Island - 3 years
Tennessee - 2 years
Texas - 3 years
Utah - 3 years
West Virginia - 1 year

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No-Fault or Fault Divorce

Some U.S. states offer both a no-fault and a fault divorce option. Couples who do not want to observe the waiting period requirement are allowed to file for fault divorce. Some common grounds for fault include cruelty, adultery, desertion, confinement in prison or a similar institution, and inability to perform sexual intercourse, if this was not disclosed prior to the marriage. States that offer both no-fault and fault divorce include:

Alabama
Alaska
Connecticut
Delaware
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Maine
Massachusetts
Mississippi
New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
West Virginia

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References

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