Albany Divorce Lawyer Q&A: What Is the Difference Between No-Fault and At-Fault Divorce?

October 9, 2019

As any divorce attorney in Albany will explain to their clients, Georgia law allows two types of divorces. The main difference between them is the cause of the divorce. Sometimes, marriages break apart without the spouses’ fault (no-fault divorce). Other times, one spouse’s actions lead to divorce (at-fault divorce).

However, there are several other important differences between the two types of divorce. They refer to:

  • The procedures the spouses or their divorce attorneys in Albany need to follow
  • The time it takes to obtain the divorce
  • Asset division

To better understand them, we will review each type of divorce separately in the following lines.

No-Fault Divorce – When and Why a Divorce Attorney in Albany, GA Recommends it

A divorce attorney in Albany may recommend this type of divorce even when one spouse is at fault. It is much faster and easier to obtain. All the spouses or their attorneys need to prove is that there was an “irretrievable breakdown” in their marriage.

This may occur when the spouses live apart for too long or have huge differences of opinion. Sometimes, the differences or misunderstandings between them become more important than the reasons that brought them together.  When that happens, divorce is the only solution.

At-Fault Divorce – Why It Requires the Advice of a Divorce Attorney in Albany, GA

As mentioned above, the at-fault divorce usually follows the wrongful actions of one of the spouses. Those who file for an at-fault divorce will have to explain their motifs (grounds) and present evidence.

This type of divorce is a frequent option when spouses cannot reach common grounds. Since fault may influence asset distribution, some spouses pursue their financial interests. Those intending to file for an at-fault divorce should consult a divorce attorney in Albany before doing it. The process can be lengthy and troublesome, and any amount of legal support can make a huge difference.

The implications of an at-fault divorce (necessary evidence, period, consequences) often depend on the grounds. In Albany, the most common grounds spouses invoke are:

  • Adultery
  • Violence or cruelty
  • Willful and continuous desertion for minimum one year
  • Addition to drugs or alcohol
  • Insanity
  • Impotency
  • Child out of wedlock
  • Criminal convictions with minimum 2 years sentence
  • Marriage obtained by duress, force, or fraud

As mentioned above, the spouse filing for divorce will need to support their grounds with evidence. In turn, their spouse has the right to defend their reputation. The easiest way to do this is with the help of a divorce lawyer in Albany.

Sometimes, one spouse files for at-fault divorce and their spouse manages to prove they do not have grounds. In such cases, the divorce usually becomes a no-fault divorce. Before deciding what type of divorce to file, the spouses should discuss the implications with a divorce lawyer.

Implications of the Two Divorce Types and the Benefits of Working with a Divorce Attorney in Albany, GA

Besides the legal separation of the spouses, a divorce has implication on many other issues:

  • Division of community property
  • Alimony
  • Child custody and support

For example, when the wife filing for divorce proves domestic abuse, she is more likely to obtain child custody. The court may decide that she should receive a higher share of the community property, and/or alimony.

In cases when the spouses cannot agree on child custody or visitation issues, the court may recommend mediation. It basically means having a third-party intermediate the divorce settlement negotiations. The process can be beneficial to the spouses. However, to protect their interests, both spouses should have a divorce lawyer in Albany represent them.

The help of the latter can be invaluable even when mediation is not necessary. After all, divorces are complex issues that spouses should tackle with care. Since most of them involve huge emotional burdens, an unbiased perspective is always useful. It can help divorcing spouses control their emotions and make informed decisions.

Contrary to what some people think, divorce lawyers do not have preferences when it comes to divorce types. They want what is best for their clients. When they make a recommendation, they do it because they genuinely believe it is in their client’s best interest. The final decision belongs to the client anyway.

Get Help with Your Divorce from an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Albany, GA

Are you preparing to file for divorce or you have just received the divorce papers? Schedule a consultation with an experienced and dedicated divorce attorney in Albany! Joe Durham will review your case, answer your questions, and explain your options. If you let them, they will take over your case and help you get out of the marriage in the best conditions possible!