What Would Happen if We Ended No-Fault Divorce?

Many Americans are unaware that no-fault divorce is a fairly new concept. Previously, spouses had to have an extremely specific reason for ending their marriage, and they could not simply point vaguely to “irreconcilable differences.” Instead, marriages could only be ended when serious issues had occurred, such as infidelity or severe domestic abuse. During this period in American history, the divorce rate was much lower for obvious reasons. When you married someone, you were making a legal commitment to stay with them through thick and thin – and there was no way to simply back out when you no longer wanted to be in the relationship.

Some have argued that we should end no-fault divorce in the United States – once again returning to a much stricter system that places a greater emphasis on long-term commitments. But what would happen if we did this? Is this really a good idea? How might this change how we view marriage in North Carolina?

The Argument for Ending No-Fault Divorce

Although it might seem unethical to force spouses to stick together unless they have a really good reason, critics have pointed out that no-fault divorce may be causing serious issues for our entire society. For example, these critics often point to the fact that children from divorced families often struggle with behavioral issues, academic failure, and struggles to form their own stable relationships.

But while these statistics are troubling, it may be difficult to draw concrete conclusions from them. The counterargument is of course that “staying together for the kids” can cause serious stress to build up in the family home. If this tension is not addressed, it can lead to violent situations in which parents suddenly lash out. Some have also pointed out that when parents are constantly fighting, this does not lead to a positive environment for the children.

Another common argument is that if spouses were aware that there was no “easy out,” they would be much more careful about who they married. Some say that this would stop dysfunctional marriages before they even began, thereby creating a society where only the most stable relationships evolved into marriages. Of course, critics of this argument point out that people can change drastically over time, and the person you married might not be the same in five, 10, or 20 years.

How North Carolina Handles the Concept of Fault in Divorce

North Carolina has its own way of doing things when it comes to divorce. First of all, you should know that the Tar Heel State follows a “no-fault” system, which means that there is no need to give any particular reason for a divorce. Instead, you can simply file for divorce based on one year separation. That being said, this does not exactly mean that divorce is easy in North Carolina.

In order to move forward with a divorce in this state, you need to go through a mandatory one-year waiting period. This creates something of a compromise, dissuading spouses from impulsive divorces and forcing them to take the time to think about whether they truly want to end their marriages. In this way, North Carolina achieves a middle ground – making marriage a major commitment of at least a year while allowing spouses to get divorced in a somewhat streamlined manner.

North Carolina also has a separate system called “divorce from bed and board.” Technically, this is not an absolute divorce, and it does not end the marriage contract. However, it does allow for a quasi-fault-based system that allows spouses to leave their family home quickly and easily after successfully showing that their spouses are guilty of some kind of misconduct.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Divorce Attorney in the Carolinas?

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in North Carolina or South Carolina, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We know that the various legal concepts that surround divorce can be tricky to wrap your head around – and we are here to help. Although divorcing your spouse is easy in a “no-fault” state like North or South Carolina, there are still a number of requirements and steps involved. You do not need to be a legal expert to get divorced– but a qualified attorney at your side certainly helps. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan.