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When does fault matter in a no-fault divorce?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2023 | Divorce

In a no-fault divorce, spouses do not have to prove misconduct in order to separate legally. They might be able to terminate their marriage for a reason as simple as irreconcilable differences. But even in this type of separation, there are certain points in the divorce process when the spouse’s misconduct during the marriage might come into play.

Child custody

In general, the court follows the child’s best interest standard when determining which parent should get custody of children. Because of this, they will likely examine each parent’s behavior and capacity to care for their offspring. If a parent has a history of drug use or alcohol addiction, the court might hesitate to award them custody.

Property division

In Rhode Island, courts consider several factors when distributing property during divorce, including the conduct of each spouse during the marriage. Judges also have the authority to divide marital assets according to factors they consider proper and just.

For example, if one spouse took money from their joint bank account to maintain an illicit affair, the judge might rule it fair to give the other spouse a bigger share of the marital assets.


The court usually considers the same factors for dividing marital assets to determine spousal support duration and amount. If a spouse’s misconduct contributed to their partner being financially disadvantaged, the court might consider it just to order them to pay alimony.

No-fault divorces might seem simple, but they can be incredibly complex. Fault does not always matter, but when it does become a vital issue, having an advocate who understands the intricacies of divorce law can help improve your chances of achieving good outcomes.