When most people enter into a marriage, they believe that their love will last forever. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, which is why some people opt to get a divorce. There are several reasons couples get divorced, whether it's because of adultery, abuse, or something less sinister. The United States is no stranger to divorce. Luckily, the number had decreased over the past decades. The country's current divorce rate is 7.6 divorces per 1,000 women 15 and over. The states with the highest divorce rates are Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nevada, and New Mexico, all with divorce rates of over 10 divorces per 1,000 women 15 and over.
Because marriage is legally recognized, the couple must go through legal means to get a divorce. This means that paperwork must be filed with the local court, attorneys need to be hired, and mediation may occur to discuss splitting property, child support, and child visitation. In some cases, the parties involved in the divorce don't want to cast blame on the other partner. If both partners agree to this, they can file what is known as a no-fault divorce. In other words, the divorcing couple can tell the court that the marriage is over without providing a reason. California was the first state to implement no-fault divorce laws in 1970.
As of 2023, all 50 states have allowed no-fault grounds for divorce. However, there are just 15 states that are known as "true" no-fault states. This means that there is no option to cast blame, and couples can only file on no-fault grounds.
These states are as follows: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. This doesn't necessarily mean that divorce can't be filed on other grounds. In some states, couples can file for divorce on other grounds in unusual circumstances, such as the insanity of one of the partners. In these states, the unusual circumstance must be proven.
In the remaining states, a divorce can occur on no-fault grounds. However, these states also allow couples to cast blame through traditional fault grounds. Some states also require the couple to live apart for a certain length of time before officially filing for divorce. For example, Kentucky's requirements are two months, while Hawaii requires couples to be separated for at least two years.