As Birmingham residents are aware, laws change over time, meaning what was once the case for residents 50 years ago may no longer be true today. This is true in divorce as well, as laws have changed which impact the property division of spouses’ assets.
One key area that has changed in divorce laws around the country is in obtaining a divorce itself. It used to be the case that fault had to be established to get a divorce, such that one spouse would claim the other was at fault for causing the dissolution of the marriage. For instance, adultery was a common ground claimed as fault in a divorce.
Many of these laws have been replaced with no fault divorce laws today, where the filing spouse need not prove any fault on the part of the other spouse in order to obtain a divorce. For example, country music star Jason Aldean recently filed for divorce after 12 years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. Aldean, who has two daughters with his wife, was suspected of cheating on his wife, and issued a public apology related to the incident. However, his divorce filing need not involve that alleged act of adultery in order to be valid.
This is not to say that fault plays no part in a divorce, however. When it comes to dividing marital assets, for example, many states permit courts to consider the fault of the parties. Accordingly, while a spouse’s adultery may not be relevant to obtaining the divorce itself in a no fault state, the adultery could cost that spouse assets if a court determines it is equitable to do so, and award the other spouse more assets.
Source: ABC News, “Jason Aldean splits from wife Jessica Ussery,” Luchina Fisher, April 29, 2013