No-Fault Divorce Questions and Answers

There are many reasons why people may want to divorce.  Those reasons stem from domestic violence, affairs, misusing drugs , distance in the relationship, financial problems and more. Depending on the reason, divorces are divided into fault and no-fault cases.

What is the Difference between a Fault and No-Fault Divorce?

No-Fault Divorce

While the goal of both cases is to finalize the divorce, they differ in reasons, processes, and costs. A fault divorce case is based on the idea that the respondent did something wrong and that’s why the petitioner wants a divorce. The most common reasons for a fault divorce are adultery, substance abuse, a felony conviction, or cruel treatment. So if the petitioner wants to go the fault way, he/she must provide sufficient evidence so that divorce could be granted on this basis. Fault divorces are usually quite lengthy and expensive.

No-fault divorces, on the other hand, are the cases where spouses want to part because of irreconcilable differences. In other words, spouses don’t get along well so they see no point in the marriage anymore. To finalize a no-fault divorce, a petitioner doesn’t have to prove the other spouse’s fault.

Respectively, the US states are divided into fault and no-fault states.

What Is a No Fault State?

A no-fault state is the state where divorcees don’t need a fault reason to end their marriage. In other words, if you want a divorce, you just have to put “irreconcilable differences” or “irreconcilable breakdown” as the reason to start the process. In the US, 17 states follow a no-fault divorce procedure, including Florida, Hawaii, Colorado, California, Nebraska, and some other states.

What if you want a fault divorce in a no-fault state?

Normally, you can’t get a fault divorce in a no-fault state. But in specific situations, there may be an exception. In this case, you will have to provide enough evidence to support the fault petition, which may extend the duration of the process and add to its cost.

What are the Benefits of a No Fault Divorce?

The most obvious benefit to a no-fault divorce is – you don’t need to wash your dirty laundry in public. Fault divorces, with adultery being the most common among them, are usually full of dirty details, shame, and regrets. Not only does this make everyone involved feel uncomfortable but also initiates more conflicts between spouses.

A no-fault divorce, on the other hand, allows ending a marriage with less blood and less stress. However, sometimes fault reasons can be taken into account in no-fault cases. In these circumstances, child custody or property issues may be decided not in favor of the wrongdoer.

Speedier trials and lower costs are other benefits of no-fault divorces. As the court doesn’t need to study evidence and hear witnesses proving the blame of the respondent, such divorce processes are normally shorter. A shorter process, in its turn, means smaller court costs and attorney fees.

However, regardless of the ground you choose for your divorce, spouses should wait at least 30 days to have their marriage officially ended.

What Is the Average Cost of Divorce?


The cost of divorce will largely depend on many criteria. They include whether spouses have minor children in marriage, go for a contested or uncontested trial, hire a lawyer or defend themselves in the court, or need a mediation.

For example, an hourly cost of an average divorce attorney in say Georgia is around $300. This means that the longer the process takes, the higher costs each party will bear. Understandably, a contested case that takes around 6 months, and a 3-year process will have completely different financial scenarios.

The same goes for divorces that need mediation. Mediation in Georgia starts at $75 per hour and can run as high as $300, which equals the rates of an average attorney. However, mediated cases are normally cheaper than non-mediated processes.

The type of the case also leaves its mark on how much you will pay for the divorce. Thus, a fully uncontested case can cost you as little as around $200-300 for the entire case, which amounts to how much spouses are charged for filing the papers with the court. If you’re intended to hire an online assistant, this may add another couple hundred to the cost. But still, it will be considerably cheaper than hiring a lawyer.

That said, the average cost of divorce in GA for spouses with no children involved is around $14,500. Getting a divorce for couples who have minor children in the marriage normally adds another 9-10 thousand dollars to this sum.


As previously mentioned the cost of divorce proceedings varies from one couple to another as there are multiple things to consider. And the average cost of getting divorced varies from state to state.

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