Minnesota's Family Law Blog

Primer On “No-Fault Divorce”

What is No-Fault Divorce?

When you plan to get divorced, there are several questions that fill up your mind. A divorce will bring cause great change in your personal life. When a couple decides to end their marriage, there is usually some valid reason for taking this step. It is vital to understand this reason then file the papers in the court accordingly. In some state, ff your spouse has cheated on you, then you can opt for adultery as the ground for divorce (but not in Minnesota). When either of the spouses is not at fault for the divorce and the only reason for ending their marriage is irretrievable differences, then the spouses can file for no-fault divorce.

No-fault divorce

Almost all the states in the USA have no-fault divorce law (including Minnesota), where neither of the party has to prove the fault of other party. This law was first introduced in Oklahoma, then later in California and the rest of the states. Most people say it has helped in simplifying the divorce process. The couple can end their relationship without facing long court trials just to prove whose fault the divorce was.

Who can opt for a no-fault divorce?

Those couples who are ending their marriage because of irreconcilable differences can opt for this divorce. The processing of this divorce mostly gets completed faster than a fault divorce, where the fault of one of the spouse for the end of marriage needs to be proved. A rising trend has been observed in the number of no fault divorces, as it is simple. The divorce rates have also risen after the implementation of no-fault divorce law.


  • Child custody : Still can be decided by the Judge if the parties can’t agree on custody issues.
  • Divorce rate: After the introduction of this law, the number of divorces has increased tremendously. As getting divorced under the newer “no-fault” laws make it faster and cheaper to get divorced.
  • Unilateral: As per a recent survey, it was estimated that almost 80% of the no fault divorces are unilateral, meaning just one of the two people in the marriage want the divorce. Even though one of the spouses wants to save the marriage, they are not given the authority to prevent the divorce from happening.
  • Loss of belonging or property: To get the divorced quicker many individuals compromise and give up their property or belongings that rightfully belong to them


  • Domestic violence: After the introduction of no fault law, domestic violence cases have reduced (according to some studies).
  • Less time: As this divorce process is simple, it gets completed quickly. The couples do not have to go through the stressful divorce trials.
  • Less stress for children: The children do not want to see their parents attending trials and playing the blame game to prove themselves right. The children feel less emotional stress, if they see their parents ending the marriage with minimal conflicts.
  • Save money: Many couples become almost bankrupt, as they are unable to manage legal expenses during a contested divorce. As the couple does not have to attend trials, they can even file their own case or hire a lawyer for the basic legal assistance.

Before opting for a no fault divorce, make sure that you get assistance from an attorney. It is vital to take appropriate legal advice before opting for this type of divorce.

Information obtained in mankatofamilylaw.com may contain knowledgable content about Minnesota Family Law that may be considered beneficial to some; however, in no way should this website or its contents be considered legal advice. Mr. Kohlmeyer is a Minnesota licensed Attorney and cannot provide legal services or guidance to those outside of Minnesota. If you wish to retain Mr. Kohlmeyer as your Attorney in your Family Law matter, contact 507-205-9736.

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Comments 1
  1. I don’t know where to start…….but

    I know you are an attorney. You are WRONG. Written or not, fathers have slim to none chance of getting custody in Minnesota. It happens to me and to many cases I have read while researching.

    My divorce case was finalized last November awarding my Ex-wife sole and legal custody of our two boys’ age 3.5 and 2, two years battle to get custody.

    My wife, a foreign national came to marry me and after 1year and half married life, run away to a shelter falsely accusing of all horrible things you can think. This is when our older son was 1 year’s old and younger one not yet born.

    To make it short, she admitted of lying of the abuse at the court day. Regardless, the judge awarded her, ignoring my claim that she has difficulties raising a child with proof and examples. Even at that age and still now our children scream horribly not to go to their mom.

    The judge awarded her alimony, child support, back child support … left me with not enough many for food and transportation let alone to rent an apartment.

    I have a good job but I can’t even properly feed myself. It’s funny…that I am over qualify to get any aid. Because of my income is high.

    Let’s not forget that the so called “family lawyers” I call them “family blood suckers” did nothing but schedule appointments. For your surprise, they said it loud that the system favors for women in child custody “Unless a women is mentally ill or dangerous criminal, the law favor for her” that’s my attorney said after the decision. After I ask him that why? for her when she is lying, stealing my money. … neglect our children….

    By the way thank you to the family court…. my older son age 3.5 years old CANNOT ATTEND PRE-SCHOOL BECAUSE HE IS WAY BEHIND IN DEVELOPMENT, THAT HE CANNOT SPEAK His mom speak little English. My fear I explain to the judge and my attorney during the divorce process.

    Well, as far as I am concern…. I think you hate the “fathers right group” because they step on your business. By the way most people know that the divorce and custody cases are purposely design so attorneys can rip-off hard working people. They make it complicated while it could be easy, twist and manipulate every case, even stretched it to its maximum time that they can suck people’s money. (I am sorry if you are not one of them.) But this is true.

    I will give you this….. The United State has by far highest divorce percentage than any country in the world….. and the most painful and expensive too….

    Please don’t tell me Fathers has equal right to mothers when it comes to divorce and child custody.

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