At-Fault Divorce

Historically, the legal system used to assign blame to one of the parties in the divorce and split marital assets in such a way that punished the party who was found to be at fault.  This turned an already emotional and difficult divorce into a full blown war with both people trying to show the court how awful the other person was.  Many times a person would have a valid defense to the divorce and the court would order the couple stay married even if they hated each other.

In response, most states moved to a “no-fault” divorce system wherein the court did not have to find a party to blame for the divorce, merely that one of the parties believes that the marriage is irretrievably broken (or a similar phrase).  In 2010, New York became the last state in the country to move from an at-fault divorce system to a no-fault divorce system.

What a No-Fault Divorce Means For You

When a married couple is at the point in their relationship that they want to file for divorce, also known as a dissolution of marriage, they are experiencing one of the most difficult points of their lives.  It’s hard for people to understand that a court will not consider the reason for the divorce; even if it is for a reason as serious as infidelity, abandonment, or even domestic violence.  There are certainly times during divorce proceedings that these issues may become relevant (for example when determining child custody, parenting time, and whether a person spent marital funds behind the other person’s back), but a court will never monetarily punish a person for acting immorally during a marriage.  When splitting assets, the only important factors that the court will look at are the financial situations of each person during the marriage and what is in the best interest of the children.

In fact, it may even harm the person’s case if they obsess about the issue.  One of the factors that a court will look at when determining the best interest of a child (and as a result custody and parenting time) is whether the parents can place the interests of the child ahead of their own needs.  C.R.S. § 14-10-124(1.5)(a)(XI).  So if a person is putting their own grievances against each other ahead of their children’s interest, the court will take that into account when determining parenting time.

At Peter Loyd Weber and Associates, LLC., our experienced attorneys will help you through the difficult time of a relationship ending and make sure that you are treated fairly and with respect.  We will always keep your best interest in mind when we fight on your behalf.  Contact us today at (720)863-7755 for a free consultation to find out how we can help you through your divorce.

Categories: Divorce Law