Is There a Place for Fault in Modern Divorce After All?

no-fault-divorce.jpgKansas is considering a bill which would arguably eliminate “no-fault” divorce throughout the state. Currently in Kansas, “incompatibility” is a ground for divorce similar to California’s “irreconcilable differences”. “Incompatibility” and “irreconcilable differences” are both general catch-all no-fault grounds for divorce. The new Kansas bill would replace “incompatibility” with eight reasons the couple is seeking a divorce.

Keith Esau, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced the new “fault divorce” bill. He supports the intent behind the bill (which was authored by an anonymous legislator) because he says “No-fault divorce gives people an easy out instead of working at it.” Other members of the Judiciary have spoken out about the bill noting that the government may be overreaching by limiting a couple’s decision to end their relationship. In response, the bill’s supporters argue that married couples receive significant benefits from the state and therefore the state should be able to limit people from entering into marriages temporarily, reaping the benefits from the state, and then getting out.

Kansas divorce attorneys argue that the new bill will only complicate and prolong the divorce process. Such an adversarial requirement – choosing from a list of fault-based grounds as a reason for the divorce – can make a family matter extremely contentious. Divorce attorneys in Kansas question whether the new bill would deter many couples from petitioning for divorce. Whether the divorce process is “easy” or “difficult” for the parties will likely not be the deciding factor when determining whether to file for divorce. Further, many couples are unfamiliar with divorce laws and the process and therefore do not take them into consideration before filing for divorce.

At the Law Offices of Nancy J. Bickford, APC, we strive to make the divorce process as smooth as possible for all of our clients. This includes a strong effort to resolve all issues without court intervention. If California were to consider a bill eliminating “no-fault” divorce, our firm would be concerned about the effect such a law would have on children caught up in the divorce process. Our attorneys encourage clients to resolve all custody and visitation disputes amicably outside of court. By eliminating “no-fault” divorce thereby increasing the tension and conflict in divorce cases, litigants may be less likely to resolve custody disputes quickly and cooperatively. Court intervention and contentious custody battles are rarely in the best interest of the children and will likely make the divorce transition more difficult for them.

Please contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse, a legal separation, or have questions regarding child custody and visitation. Nancy J. Bickford is the only attorney in San Diego County representing clients in divorces, who is a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) and who is actively licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.

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