Could the backlash against no-fault divorces bring changes?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | Divorce

Currently, all 50 states allow some form of no-fault divorce. However, a recent CNN article discussed the efforts of some high-level politicians to strip couples of their right to no-fault divorces. In fact, current House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican just two heartbeats away from the presidency, has long expressed his beliefs that no-fault divorces should be disallowed.

To wit, Speaker Johnson made claims in 2016 that no-fault divorces made America a “completely amoral society.”

What is a no-fault divorce?

In plainest terms, Washington law states that neither spouse in the marriage needs to prove that the other committed any fault(s) that caused the marriage to fail, only that it has become “irretrievably broken.”

While some states do allow fault divorces on grounds such as adultery, cruelty, abandonment or other reasons, such is not the case here at this time. Could that change in the future?

In politics, there are no sure bets

Admittedly, it is unlikely that Washington state would enact laws disallowing no-fault divorces. However, should that occur, it would be a grave disservice to spouses seeking to escape from loveless or violent unions. 

Nobody should be trapped in a marriage due to bureaucratic red tape that fails to consider the feelings of both marital partners. Continuing to allow no-fault divorces to be granted by the Washington civil courts protects the privacy of couples who don’t want the lurid details of extra-marital affairs or other dirty laundry to be entered into the public record to become fodder for speculation and gossip.

Learning more about the laws regarding divorce here in Washington can help prepare you for what lies ahead if you are planning to end your marriage.