What is Gained by Filing a Fault Divorce?

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Do I stand to gain anything from a fault-based divorce as opposed to a no-fault divorce?

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Pennsylvania divorce attorney WIlliam Phelan


While I am not licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and cannot give you legal advice, I can give some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Where I do practice in Pennsylvania, in order for the Court to take up a divorce case and hear the related issues, it needs to have proper grounds to do so. Pennsylvania is one of the few states remaining that will allow grounds due to the fault of one party (e.g., adultery, desertion, imprisonment, indignities). However most cases in Pennsylvania are granted grounds on a non-fault basis, especially in instances when the parties consent to the divorce taking place.

As an illustrative example, you are allowed to attain a divorce on the fault ground of adultery. Typically, the spouse who was cheated on will need to request a special hearing to prove to the trier of fact that the adultery occurred. If the adultery is proven, then the Court will issue a grounds order saying that the divorce may eventually be granted due to the fault of the cheating spouse.

In contrast, a no-fault divorce usually does not require any such special hearings.

Due to the extremely fact-specific nature of this situation, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney who handles family law matters in your jurisdiction to see how Massachusetts’ laws can specifically help you with this serious situation. This type of attorney should be helpful in providing you specific assistance for your matter.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in Massachusetts and how they particularly impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer William J. Phelan, IV, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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