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What Does “No-Fault” Mean and Why Is it Important?

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

In many states, couples who want to divorce have the option of seeking a divorce based on the conduct of the other spouse. In other words, if a spouse is caught cheating, the other spouse can seek a divorce on the basis of the other’s actions. Legally, this concept is referred to as “fault”. In contrast, North Carolina is a “no-fault” state. This is because the only way that the vast majority of couples can obtain a divorce in North Carolina is through an “absolute divorce.” To obtain an absolute divorce, the only legal requirement is that a couple has to live separate and apart for a full year. Once that year and a day has passed, either party can file for a divorce. The only finding that the court …