An Oklahoma City Divorce Lawyer on No-Fault vs. Fault Divorce
Divorce is not an uncommon occurrence in our modern society, but like all legal actions that establish rights and responsibilities of the parties involved, specific procedures must be followed. Initially, when one spouse petitions the court for dissolution of the marriage, he or she must state reasons, or grounds for divorce, that have been established by statutory law.
As the term implies, a no-fault petition does not require the petitioning spouse to allege any wrongdoing on behalf of the other spouse. Under Oklahoma law, the only accepted basis for moving for a no-fault divorce is on the grounds of incompatibility.
When one spouse feels the other’s actions may have been inappropriate and seeks some advantage in the ultimate settlement in terms of property, support or child custody, a fault divorce requires the allegation and proof of one of the following:
- Abandonment for one year
- If the wife, at the time of marriage, was pregnant with another man’s child
- Extreme cruelty
- Fraudulent contract
- Habitual drunkenness
- Gross neglect of duty
- Imprisonment of the other in a penal institution for the commission of a felony at the time the petition is filed;
- The procurement of a final divorce decree from another state by a husband or wife which is not recognized in Oklahoma
- Insanity for a period of 5 years
Objections to and Preventing a Divorce
If the divorce petition was granted based on fault, the alleged wrongdoer can contest the divorce and prevent it from being granted if he or she can disprove the specific grounds asserted. However, in a no-fault divorce, since the only basis is incompatibility, a spouse who contends there is no incompatibility is in effect proving incompatibility. As an Oklahoma City divorce lawyer can explain, for all practical purposes, there is no way to stop a properly filed no-fault divorce from proceeding to dissolution.