Fault-Based vs. No-Fault Divorces: What You Need to Know

fault-based and no-fault divorce

Divorce can be confusing and messy, especially if there are children involved. Legally separating from your spouse comes with a variety of emotional, financial and legal challenges. To add to these difficulties, there are a number of ways to file for divorce depending on the circumstances. Divorce can mainly be divided into two types: fault-based divorce and no-fault divorce. Below we will address the differences between these types and everything you need to know when filing for a fault-based or no-fault divorce in Wisconsin.

The Difference Between Fault-Based Divorces and No-Fault Divorces

While the difference between fault-based divorces and no-fault divorces may seem obvious from the titles themselves, there are a number of factors involved that make these definitions a little more complicated.

What is a fault-based divorce?

A fault-based divorce occurs when one spouse wishes to file for divorce and the other contests it. However, in Wisconsin, you can only file for a no-fault divorce. This makes the process simpler as only one spouse has to testify in court. In Wisconsin, the only reason you need to state for a divorce is that the marriage is irretrievable. This means that there is no hope for reconciliation between spouses. Also, this means that your spouse cannot stop you from filing for divorce.

What is a no-fault divorce?

In contrast to a fault-based divorce, a no-fault divorce occurs when both spouses agree to file for divorce. If you both are on the same page, the process of filing for divorce will go a lot more smoothly, take less time and cause less strain on your family. There are also options like divorce mediation and collaborative law that will provide mediation between you and your spouse if you are having trouble agreeing on the terms of your divorce.

Steps to Take for Filing a No-Fault Divorce

While you can only file for a no-fault divorce in Wisconsin, the filing process can still be confusing. If you and your spouse are on the same page, you can handle the situation between your attorneys. However, if you are having difficulties agreeing on matters like custody of children or property disbursement, you may need to go to court. This is why you need an experienced lawyer on your side. In some situations, fault can come into play as you decide who gets what and the custody arrangements of your children if there are concerns about the other party.

If there are no major issues with your case, but you are still having difficulty agreeing with your spouse, divorce mediation or collaborative law may be the best solution for you. In divorce mediation, you will have an impartial third party who can mediate the discussion of your terms of divorce.

Collaborative law is similar to divorce mediation, but it has more parties involved in the process. This option allows you and your spouse to work together with legal, financial, family and psychological advisors as needed to reach an agreement on the terms of divorce.

Schedule a Consultation with Divorce and Family Law Attorney Paul Santilli Today

No matter the method of how you file for divorce and handle its terms, you need a dedicated lawyer on your side. Paul Santilli has over 20 years of family law experience and is well-equipped to handle your case. He has the compassion and drive to help you through this difficult time of divorce. Contact Paul here to set up a consultation.

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