You may certainly know that the reason for your divorce matters to you, as it’s a personal reason. But as you file for divorce, you may not be sure if you need to declare fault or if your reasoning is even going to matter in any legal sense. Do you have to provide a reason or show that your spouse caused the divorce?
The truth is that you can use a no-fault divorce, and this means that you don’t have to prove that it was anyone else’s fault or accept fault for the divorce yourself. You and your partner just mutually want to end your marriage. So, in this sense, the exact reason that you want to get a divorce that does not make a difference. You can just cite irreconcilable differences and go your separate ways.
The court will not punish a spouse
Additionally, it’s important to remember that the court’s job is not to punish a spouse for something like being unfaithful to the marriage. Some people who find themselves in this situation believe that proving their spouse had an affair will help them financially. They believe they will get more of the marital assets as a punitive measure against their ex.
But this has no bearing on how the court divides assets unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as a spouse spending an extravagant amount of money on an affair. If you discover that your spouse bought lavish gifts, went on trips and spent $50,000 on their partner over the last year, you may be able to factor this into the property division process. It’s sometimes classified as the dissipation of marital assets.
It can affect child custody
One way that the reason for your divorce may matter is if it can impact child custody. The court does want a safe and secure custody arrangement for the child.
For instance, if you’re getting divorced because your spouse has a drug addiction or a history of domestic violence, that can certainly influence where the court decides the child should have to live. Your ex may get visitation rights or, in severe cases, be denied any time with the child.
As you move toward your divorce this year, it’s very important that you understand exactly what legal steps you’ll need to take.