Heidi E. Opinsky

The Law Offices of Heidi E. Opinsky, LLC

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What Is a No-Fault Divorce?

In the past, a divorce would only be granted in certain cases where one spouse could prove the fault of the other. Now, couples can claim irreconcilable differences, allowing them to divorce without blaming one spouse or the other for wrongdoing. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between fault and no-fault divorces and how experienced divorce lawyer Heidi E. Opinsky can help you file for a no-fault divorce in Connecticut or New York.  

Fault & No-Fault Divorces: What’s the Difference?  

A no-fault divorce is a kind of divorce wherein the spouse who filed for the divorce is not required to prove that the other spouse was at fault for the breakdown of the relationship. Every state recognizes this type of divorce, however, only 17 of them are considered a “true” no-fault divorce states where the only option available is to file a no-fault divorce. 

These states are California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Do You Qualify For a Fault or No-Fault Divorce?   

In order to file for a certain type of divorce, you must meet residency requirements for the state in which you live. These requirements are different for fault and no-fault divorces. 

Divorce Requirements 


To file a fault divorce in Connecticut, you must have grounds to do so. This means your spouse must have committed adultery, willfully deserted you for twelve months or more with complete neglect of duty, has been absent for seven years of your marriage or longer without communication, is addicted to drugs or alcohol, was imprisoned or sent to a mental institution, or displayed intolerable cruelty.  

The residency requirements for a Connecticut fault divorce and a no-fault divorce are the same. Either you or your spouse must have been a Connecticut resident for a minimum of twelve months prior to the filing for divorce or the date the final divorce decree is granted. 

Or, you or your spouse were domiciled in Connecticut when you were married before moving away and then returned to the state with the intention to live in the state permanently prior to deciding to get a divorce. If you meet neither of those residency requirements to get a Connecticut divorce, you may still be able to file if the grounds for divorce originated within the state. 

New York

To qualify for divorce in New York, you must file under one of seven acceptable grounds: 

1. The marriage has been irretrievably broken for six months or more. This is actually not a “fault” at all and is essentially the grounds you would list if you and your spouse had irreconcilable differences and wanted a no-fault divorce. 

2. Your spouse abandoned you for a year or more. 

3. Your spouse was imprisoned for three years or more. 

4. Your spouse committed adultery. 

5. Your spouse displayed cruel and inhumane treatment towards you. Specifically, the judge in your case will be looking for certain forms of cruelty that took place within the previous five years. 

6. You have been separated and living apart from your spouse for one year and you have both signed a legal separation agreement. 

7. The judge issued a judgment of separation in your case and you later want to file for divorce. 

Like with Connecticut, the residency requirements for any type of divorce in New York are the same: 

You or your spouse have been residing in New York continuously for a minimum of two years prior to filing for divorce, or 

  • You or your spouse have been residing in New York continuously for a minimum of one year prior to filing for divorce, and 
  • Your marriage took place in the state of New York, or
  • You and your spouse lived together in New York while married, or 
  • The reason for your divorce took place in New York 

Should You Get a No-Fault Divorce? 

There are some benefits to filing a no-fault divorce that make this option attractive for couples, even if the reason for the relationship’s breakdown fits within the scope of a fault divorce. For example, a no-fault divorce often takes less time and costs less money than a traditionally litigated fault divorce. However, sometimes one spouse may benefit greatly from filing for a fault divorce. A seasoned family law attorney can help you make this decision. 

Contact Veteran Divorce Lawyer Heidi Opinsky Today to Discuss No-Fault Divorce  

Heidi E. Opinsky is an experienced New York and Connecticut divorce lawyer with the skills and expertise needed to provide you with the comprehensive divorce support you need. Call today to learn more about filing a no-fault divorce or to book a consultation to discuss your legal needs in more detail by dialing 203-653-3542.