Four Defenses to Fault-Based Divorces

There are several defenses the accused spouse may use to defend a dissolution of marriage or legal separation. These include: failure of the petitioner to prove their case; provocation; accepted lifestyle; and condonation.  You may be wondering, what do all of these things mean?

  1. Failure of the Petitioner to prove their case: The petitioner has the burden of proof in proving their case, and when they cannot prove a necessary element to their case, they have failed to meet their burden.
  2. Provocation: The Petitioner must prove that it was not his or her own conduct that caused the accused party’s actions resulting in the claimed fault-based ground for divorce.
  3. Accepted Lifestyle: The Petitioner must establish that the conduct of the accused party had a particular detrimental effect on the Petitioner themselves. If the accused party’s actions do not have a detrimental effect on the petitioner, then this ground will not be available to them.
  4. Condonation: Although this defense is not used much anymore, it may be aviable in particular circumstances where the petitioner forgave the accused party for the offense done to them by the accused. There is an understanding in the forgiveness that this act will never occur again.

Not every defense will be available to your particular situation, and many of these defenses are more complicated than the simple explanation provided. If you believe that you may have a defense to a fault-based petition being filed against you, do not hesitate to call our office so we can help you!  618.254.0055

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