Do I need a reason to divorce my spouse? 48 Answers as of August 05, 2011

I was wondering if I needed a specific reason to divorce my partner. I am just simply unhappily married and I want to be free again. If I file for divorce, can she use this against me in court to get money from me?

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
Washington is a no fault State. You do not need a reason.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
Talk to your attorney about a "no-fault" divorce.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/3/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
Connecticut is a no fault state. Thus, you don't need a reason. As to money, that is a different question and a lot more inforamtion would be needed from you to respond to taht quesiton.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/1/2011
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
Until 2010, married couples needed grounds to divorce in New York. Now, if the spouses can agree to the divorce, they can use "irretrievable breakdown" as the reason for the divorce, which has the same effect as "no fault" in that there is no need to show specific cause. If your spouse refuses, then you may have to prove grounds, although most judges will not force someone to stay in a marriage against his or her will. If you file for divorce, she will be entitled to a portion of marital assets under equitable distribution, but she cannot "get money" from you if there are no marital assets.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/31/2011
Law Office of James Lentz
Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
Ohio law requires a reason for divorce, but many couples find the ubiquitous "irreconcilable differences" to be enough. As for here getting money off of you, thou need to see a domestic relations attorney to ask about proper division of assets. What you think may be yours may actually be both of yours.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 7/29/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    Florida is a no fault state, which means you don't need specific grounds to get divorced other than the marriage being irretrievably broken.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    The only reason you need to claim, for you to get a divorce, is a generic claim of irreconcilable differences which have lead to an irremediable breakdown of your marriage. You already have those grounds. There is no penalty to pay for being the party seeking the divorce. Whether or not your wife is entitled to an award of any money depends upon whether or not she qualifies for a Spousal Support order, and whether or not there is any net community property for the Court to divide.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    Calfornia is a "no fault" divorce state. This means you can divorce someone for any reason you like and do not have to tell them why. The court cannot in any way punish you for wanting to divorce the person.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    In Florida, all you have to claim is that the marriage is irretrievably broken and you can have a divorce. The fact that you filed is not a basis to award your wife money, but there are other factors upon which your wife can claim an entitlement to money. I suggest you consult with a local Family Law attorney to discuss the case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    No. You don't need a reason to get divorced in Washington. In other states you have to have "grounds" for divorce. In Washington, all that is required is that you are willing to swear that the marriage is "irretrievably broken." Also, the reason for the divorce, if any, does not affect the division of debts and property. What the statute says is that the court is to make what it believes is a fair and equitable division of all of the property and debts without regard to marital misconduct.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Keri Burnstein, P.C.
    Keri Burnstein, P.C. | Keri Burnstein
    Michigan is a no fault state. It does not matter what the reason or who wants the divorce. The divorce is going to happen if one person files and the court cannot hold that against you. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Texas recognizes irreconcilable differences so you do not have to prove your reason simply being willing to file and telling the Judge you do not want to reconcile is enough. As for division or property, there are so many rules, I could not explain them all here.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Osterman Law LLC
    Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
    We have really gotten away from stating a specific reason for a divorce. Most jurisdictions including Indiana simply require a statement that there are irreconcilable differences. In Michigan, for instance, they say that "there has been a breakdown in the marital relations to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there is no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved, and the parties will not live together as husband and wife." I think this is probably the most complete statement of why parties divorce. Your soon-to-be ex-wife cannot use it against you that you simply are unhappy in your marriage. As a general rule, property is divided by the 50-50 scale unless one parties shows a specific need over the other party, and the other party has the ability to pay. Then the scales might tip. Again, I remind you that this is the "general rule" as every case has its own merits. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Gulstrom, Henson & Petrie, PC
    Gulstrom, Henson & Petrie, PC | Tami Monek
    Idaho is a "no fault" state for divorce matters. You may allege only that "irreconcilable differences" exist in order to proceed with a divorce action.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO | Ryan J. Lewis
    Nebraska is a no fault divorce state. This means that is does not matter why you want a divorce. The reason for the divorce will have no bearing on the case at all.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    No, you can state as grounds that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" - these are the no-fault grounds in Georgia.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    Wisconsin does not require a reason.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    Alabama has no fault divorce in which a person who is simply unhappy can divorce their spouse. However, the length of the marriage would dictate what the spouse receives out of the divorce
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    California is a no fault state meaning the listed on divorce paperwork is irreconcilable differences. California is also a community property state which means that each party is entitled to of all property and financial accounts accumulated during the marriage regardless of who left the marriage. If there is a disparity in income between the parties, a court may also may orders for payment of spousal support where warranted. In order to receive specific information concerning your case, you should contact a family law attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    Florida is a no-fault state, so you do not need a specific reason to file for divorce. .
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    no just irretrievable breakdown (no fault need be proven) cooperation.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A.
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A. | John G. Miskey IV
    You do not need a reason to be file for divorce. You need to be physically separate for one year and one day and a resident of North Carolina for the previous six months to file for divorce.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Nevada is a "no fault" state - you need only allege incompatibility.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    No. The reason is "irreconcilable differences."
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    There is no reason required to file for a "no fault" divorce (other than you believing there has been an "irretrievable breakdown").
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    In Georgia, you only need irreconcilable differences with no hope of reconciliation to get a divorce. A divorce based upon this grounds is considered a "no fault" divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    You can file for divorce on the grounds of 'irreconcilable differences lasting 6 months'. What will happen in the divorce case, whether she will get money from you, depends on your finances, her finances,
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Thomas Humphrey, Attorney at Law
    Thomas Humphrey, Attorney at Law | Thomas Humphrey
    You can obtain a divorce based upon "irreconcilable differences." If you are unhappy in your marriage, you can obtain a divorce, neither party has to be "at fault."
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Elmbrook Law Offices
    Elmbrook Law Offices | Gregory Straub
    Wisconsin is a no fault divorce state. This means that one party simply wishes to be divorced and the matter will proceed. Even if the other party wants to remain married, the divorce will be granted.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    In California, a spouse does not need any reason to file for divorce, other than they want a divorce. I.e., there is a box to check off on page two of the divorce petition (form FL-100) that simply states: "irreconcilable difference." As for the second part of your question about "getting money from [you]," that question is too vague to answer. Call a local family law lawyer to discuss the particular issues that may be relevant to your case. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Not in Colorado. The legal requirement is only that at least one of the parties believes that "the marriage is irretrievably broken". For all practical purposes, in Colorado that is pretty the equivalent of I don't want to be married anymore. But, Colorado is a no-fault state. That means that financial decisions do not depend on why the marriage is over and all "reasons" for the divorce are irrelevant to the financial issues. There are no simplistic rules, but you can count on the requirement that all marital property will be divided fairly - that may or may not mean equally. All property you now own (e.g. pension plans, house, savings accounts, etc.) is presumed to be marital unless you can show you had it before marriage or obtained it by gift or inheritance. Whether one spouse will have to pay spousal maintenance (alimony) to the other depends on the comparison of need versus ability to pay in the overall context of the marriage. The longer the marriage, the more likely there will be a spousal support requirement. You should consult an attorney to discuss the realistic possibilities based upon an understand of all the relevant facts and circumstances in your case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    California is a "no fault" state. Divorce is based on irreconcilable differences.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    To get a no-fault divorce, both parties must consent to the divorce and live 'separate and apart' for at least 6 months. If one party won't consent, then you can still get a no-fault divorce, but you must live 'separate and apart' for at least 2 years.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Generally, in Georgia, a party is free to simply allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken. You should seek a divorce attorney's advice and help as soon as possible. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Michael Edwards, Attorney at Law
    Michael Edwards, Attorney at Law | Michael Edwards
    Short answer: no. More detailed answer: We have no-fault divorce in the State of Utah. All you have to allege in your divorce petition is that there are "irreconcilable differences" between you and your wife. If there was fault involved, like adultery or abuse, you could allege that. But you don't need to. The answer to your second question is more complicated, and you need to consult with an attorney to get an accurate answer to that question. If you file for divorce, your wife can counter-petition, asking for alimony, etc. Whether or not she will get that depends upon a lot of different factors, and you will need to discuss your facts and circumstances with an attorney to get a complete answer. I wish you the best!
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Washington is a no fault state. You don't need a reason.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law you do not need a reason to get a divorce. You just need to be able to say that the marriage is irretrievably broken. In a divorce property will be divided, and that could mean you owing her some money to buy out her interest in some property. There could be a basis for spousal support, and if there are children there will be child support. See an attorney in your area for more information about your specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    In Tennessee and almost all states there is irreconcilable differences or no fault divorces but you and your spouse must have a written notarized marital dissolution agreement disposing of your real estate and personal property.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    No. Minnesota is a no fault divorce state. All that is required is that one party believes there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    No. All states in the US are non-fault states. No reason is necessary.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    Florida is a no fault divorce state
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Georgia allows no fault divorces, so wanting a divorce is reason enough to get one. As to alimony, that depends on the finances of the parties.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Offices of Lawrence J. Marraffino, P.A.
    Law Offices of Lawrence J. Marraffino, P.A. | Lawrence J. Marraffino
    Florida is a no-fault divorce state. You must have "irreconcilable differences." Basically it means you don't get along any more.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    Arizona is a "no fault" state, so the only grounds for divorce are that "the marriage is irretrievably broken with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation." Although she might disagree with you, she cannot stop you from divorcing her, and she cannot use your choice to divorce against you for a legal advantage (although it might affect her from an emotional standpoint, thereby making the case a little more difficult).
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Theiler & Mourtos Attorneys at Law
    Theiler & Mourtos Attorneys at Law | Devan J. Theiler, Esq.
    In the State of New Jersey, you can file for divorce on the grounds of "irreconcilable differences." You will almost certainly never be asked what those differences are or to prove them. As a very general rule of thumb, as long as you have been married for at least six months (because you must claim that the differences have been in existence for at least six months), you can file for divorce based on these grounds. If you have not yet been married six months, it is possible that waiting until you have been married for six months is your best option. This answer is intended as general education only and does not constitute legal advice. Answering this question does not form an attorney-client relationship. Details not given in the question could dramatically change the answer. You are advised to speak with an attorney licensed in the State where you want to file who has experience handling family law matters.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    Wisconsin is a no fault divorce state, you only need to say the marriage is irretrievably broken to get divorced.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/27/2011
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