What happens if my spouse is at fault in our divorce? 28 Answers as of June 09, 2011

If my spouse is at-fault, what are my rights? Will I be able to claim most of the assets and custody of our children? I have proof that our marriage was unsuccessful because of him.

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
Washington is a no fault state. Fault may only be applicable if there are custody issues.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/9/2011
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
Oregon is a no fault state. Fault does not apply to the principles guiding the division of assets, debts and support.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/8/2011
Berner Law Group, PLLC
Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
What state are you in? Washington, for example, is no fault. If you're a Western Washington resident, feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation regarding your situation.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/8/2011
Deal & Hooks, LLC
Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
Ohio is a "No Fault State" which means that the party is not typically punished in a divorce for causing the divorce. The Court will determine issues of custody based on the best interest of the child. If the reasons that your spouse was at fault would tend to make it less likely that it is in the child's best interest for him to have custody than this would have some bearing. Likewise, a court will order an equitable split of the marital assets. This is usually an even split, but can be altered in some cases. If, for example, your spouse was using marital property to give gifts to a mistress, this would be reason to alter the split of the marital assets.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/8/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
The court will consider who is at fault in the division of the marital estate. It will consider what is in the best interest of the children for custody. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    It depends on which state you reside. Most states are no fault, however others are fault states.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    Florida is a No-Fault State. Therefore, it essentially doesn't matter who is at fault as the reason for getting divorced. Florida is an equitable distribution State, which means any and all assets and liabilities acquired or incurred during the marriage are subject to "fair" distribution, regardless of whose name they are in. "Fair" typically means 50/50, unless there are special circumstances. As for custody of the children, Florida technically no longer has "custody". It is a "Shared Parenting" State, which means the parents share parental responsibility and time with the children based on what arrangement is in the "Best Interest of the Children". What constitutes the "best interest" of the children is based on multiple factors, one of which is the character of each of the parents. However, this is only one factor of about twenty-two. Therefore, it can have a minimal impact, depending on how substantial the alleged misconduct is. My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available. If you would like to coordinate a free initial telephone consultation, please contact my office.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of John C. Volz
    Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
    California is a no fault state. California is also a community property state. What that means is that regardless of who's fault it is, the property will be divided equally. In regards to custody, the courts will look to the best interests of the children to determine custody and visitation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    California has only no-fault divorces. You get no benefit merely because your spouse was (or you feel your spouse was) to blame for the lack of success of your marriage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Fault plays only a minor role today in custody and equitable distribution claims. Speak to a qualified divorce lawyer to get a better idea of your rights. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
    Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
    Washington is a no-fault dissolution state. In general, both parents have a right to have a relationship with minor children, and the parties are encouraged to try to work our reasonable custody and visitation arrangements. With some limited exceptions, assets acquired during the course of a marriage are considered community property. I suggest that you discuss your situation with an attorney and possibly a financial divorce specialist.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    In Washington fault does not matter at all unless it effects his parenting, wasted an asset, effects your ability to support yourself, or was a severe mismanagement of an asset that causes there to be less assets now. Washington is a "no fault" state.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Minnesota is a "no Fault" divorce state. That means "fault" based issues have little or no impact on the divorce proceedings.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Nothing. Fault is totally irrelevant in Colorado.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    Fault, while it does play a role, depending on the type of fault and quality of the proof, can play no role or as much as causing the children to be taken away and you getting a larger piece of the assets. You shouldn't expect a windfall from this, typically, judges don't go much beyond a 60/40 split.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
    In New York, fault does not usually play a role in the division of assets (called equitable distribution) or custody of the children except in certain extreme cases. These include (1) spousal abuse/domestic violence, (2) wasteful dissipation of marital assets (such as gambling addicts) and (3) drug or alcohol addiction. All because your spouse may have been a lousy husband may not have an impact on your ability to claim most of the marital assets. As for custody of your children, you would need to prove that having you as custodial parent is in the best interests of your children. Depending on the cause involved, this may or may not have an impact.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Fault in a divorce can vary in importance state by state. In some, it is used to punish the wrongdoer. In others it is not a factor. Please consult a local domestic relations attorney as to its meaning in your divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Washington is a no fault state. In other words one spouse is not entitled to a better outcome just because the divorce is the fault of the other.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
    It depends on the jurisdiction. In Pennsylvania, one spouse's "fault" is * not* a factor in determining equitable distribution of the marital assets. Fault may be relevant with regard to a claim for spousal support or alimony. The nature of the fault may also be relevant evidence in a custody hearing. Don't think of it as though you automatically "win" just because you can show that your spouse was at fault.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Fault rarely matters in divorce, and, when it does, usually other things matter more. Ability to parent and financial resources matter more. Bear in mind that without a lawyer you will likely do very badly, so be sure to get a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    Florida is a no-fault state, so it is not legally important whose fault the divorce is.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    California is a "no fault" divorce state. I.e., with few exceptions regarding custody, most reasons why the marriage dissolved is irrelevant. If your spouse acted in a way that caused you to divorce him/her, and that spouse is still acting in the same manner that would be detrimental to the children, then such conduct can affect custody. But as said, it has nothing to do with support, division of assets/debts, etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would urge you to retain a divorce lawyer as soon as possible in order to discuss Georgia's fault grounds and the necessary evidence you might need in support. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Naomi Hirayasu Attorney at Law
    Naomi Hirayasu Attorney at Law | Naomi Hirayasu
    Makes no difference in Hawaii if spouse is at fault, Hawaii is a no-fault state. Please contact me, info below, should you have more questions.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    You need to have a specific, detailed consultation with an attorney regarding your situation and case in order to get an idea of what is realistic for your case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Kaczmarek Law Firm, LLC
    Kaczmarek Law Firm, LLC | Bridgette D. Kaczmarek
    Unfortunately, nothing. The courts in Colorado do not give consideration to a party's fault in divorce. The state exchanged that provision for the "best interest standard" when determining what is best for children. While I believe infidelity goes to credibility, the courts in this state do not share my opinion. So while his infidelity is morally incorrect, the court will not give any consideration to a spouse's affair.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    California is a no-fault divorce state, so there are no penalties for him being a bad person. If you are looking for an attorney and are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
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