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Is getting rid of no-fault divorce a good idea?

Florida is a no-fault divorce state. What that basically means is that the spouse filing for divorce does not have to prove the other spouse was at fault, and the court will accept "irretrievably broken" as grounds for divorce. Since 1969, when California began offering no-fault divorces, all other states slowly began adopting no-fault divorce laws as well.

But now, lawmakers in one state want to take that option off the table. A current Kansas bill would require its residents to prove fault if they want to divorce. While some think this is a great idea, explaining that marriage shouldn't be an easy thing to abandon, many others disagree.

A relationship expert says that people will continue to get married for the wrong reasons and because of that, incompatibility should be a very valid reason for someone to seek divorce. He says, "If two people are miserable and mismatched, you shouldn't need proof of spousal abuse to break up."

A behavioral scientist also agrees. He points out that such a law will not make marriages any stronger. Instead it will keep people in broken marriages and force them to assign blame. "Marriages should work because couples want them to work - not because a law makes them difficult to end."

Whether readers think a no-fault divorce is an easy way out or not, it is an option in our state. Although fault may sometimes be considered when deciding property division or alimony, for example, it is not a requirement for dissolution. 

Source: She Knows, "Debate: Should incompatibility be valid reason for divorce?" Monica Beyer, Feb. 12, 2014

Source: Florida Bar, "Divorce In Florida Pamphlet: General," revised Sept. 2011

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