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.
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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
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