What is a “no fault” divorce?

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A no fault divorce is the type of divorce in which the dissolution of the marriage does not require a showing of any wrongdoing by either spouse. The spouse filing for divorce does not have to prove any fault on the part of the other spouse. 

All a spouse has to do is give any reason that the state honors for the divorce, most commonly, “irreconcilable differences” or an “irreparable breakdown of the marriage.” These are the legal ways of saying that the couple no longer gets along and the marital relationship cannot be repaired. 

A spouse cannot object to another’s petition for no fault divorce. While all states now recognize no fault divorces, many states, including North Carolina, require that the spouses live separately for a certain period of time before either of them can file for a divorce. In North Carolina, that required period of separation is one full calendar year.

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