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What is a fault divorce?

In Massachusetts, divorcing couples have a choice between no-fault and fault divorces. One party may choose to seek a fault divorce if he or she means to gain a larger share of the marital property. In addition, to file for a fault divorce does not require the couple to live separately before filing for divorce. Despite being a lengthier process than no-fault divorce, there are some benefits to filing for this type of divorce if one spouse wronged the other.

If a couple chooses to divorce with no party at fault, then the pair has two filing options. The pair may choose a 1A divorce, where the spouses agree on the breakdown of the marriage and have a written agreement about child custody, support and the division of assets. The 1B divorce, on the other hand, has both parties agreeing to the marriage’s end but do not agree on other legal matters. A fault divorce, on the other hand, deals with one party being responsible for the breakdown of the marriage.

According to Mass.gov, there are seven different reasons that a person can use for fault grounds. These reasons include desertion, adultery, habits of intoxication, impotency, non-support, prison sentences of over five years or abuse. Under these circumstances, one party can make the claim that the other spouse is at fault. These cases do last longer and are more expensive than a no-fault divorce. However, these divorces may also be preferable to a wronged party. The information that this article provides is for educational purposes on fault divorces. It is not legal advice.