Does this mean that if you leave your spouse and live with someone else, this can’t be used against you in the divorce? Although every state has no-fault divorce, over 30 states have also kept their traditional fault-based divorces (based on adultery, mental cruelty, desertion, and the like) as well.
This means that in many states a spouse can, at least in some circumstances, request a fault-based divorce and show that you mistreated him or her.
On the other hand, some states allow divorces based on one spouse’s adultery, but adultery cannot be used to keep that spouse from getting his or her share of the marital property.
Keep in mind that regardless of your state’s laws, you and your spouse can divide your property however you want.
If the separation is not by mutual consent or if there are children involved, the period of time may be different from what is shown on the Grounds for Divorce chart.
If your state still has fault divorce, and your spouse is angry because you’ve moved in with your current love interest, your spouse may drag your living situation (which is technically adultery) into court.
This may have serious effects on how marital property is divided after divorce and whether you receive alimony (and how much).
Also, no matter what type of divorce is obtained, “fault” may be raised in a property or support negotiation or in a child custody or visitation hearing.
You can simply claim incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, or irretrievable or irremediable breakdown of the marriage, rather than blaming your spouse For no-fault divorces based on the fact that the spouses have already separated, many states specify the time that you must be apart (the “Length of Separation” column on the chart).
This may be as short as six months (Hawaii) or as long as five years (Idaho).
They make custody, support, and property decisions in a spirit of compromise, not based on who hurt whom.
If you and your spouse are separating amicably, you needn’t worry about the effect of living with someone else.
Alimony may also be granted in a situation in which both spouses work, but one enjoys a significantly higher income than the other.