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Does it benefit you to file for divorce under fault grounds?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2024 | Divorce

When petitioning for divorce in New York, you have to decide whether to file it as no-fault or under any of the six fault grounds, both of which are acceptable ways to petition for your marriage’s dissolution.

Now, you may be weighing the pros and cons of each and have come to ask yourself “Will it benefit me to file a fault-based divorce instead of no-fault one?”

It has its advantages.

While uncontentious divorces are typically quicker in terms of finalization since there are less to no disagreements between parties, filing divorce under fault grounds can potentially influence the outcome of certain divorce aspects, including the following:

  • Property division: If the court finds that one spouse is at fault for the divorce due to actions such as adultery or wasteful dissipation of assets, the court may award a larger share of the marital assets to the non-fault spouse to compensate them for the financial impact of the at-fault spouse’s behavior.
  • Spousal support: Fault grounds such as abuse or abandonment may influence to the court to order higher spousal support payments to the victim spouse, especially if the abuse had financial implications or if the abandonment left the spouse in a difficult financial situation.
  • Child custody: In cases where one parent’s fault involve behavior that could impact their parenting abilities, such as domestic violence or other harmful conduct, the court may determine that it is in the best interest of the child to award sole custody to the other parent.

Note that though it is possible to benefit from filing for divorce under fault grounds, those benefits are not guaranteed. The court will still consider several other factors, many of which can be unique to a case, when deciding each aspect of the divorce.

Given the complexity of divorce and the unique circumstances of each case, it is strongly advisable for divorcing individuals to seek legal guidance to understand how fault grounds could specifically affect their divorce case.