The term “no fault state” gets bandied about quite a bit when it comes to discussing divorce in Colorado. It’s an interesting concept that essentially exonerates either party in a divorce from being the “bad guy.” Or more to the point, it means the only basis for divorce is a factual finding by the judge that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” As we’ve mentioned in other blogs, this is tantamount to the “irreconcilable differences” concept that underscores many separations (as well as being the title of a Drew Barrymore movie).
As vague a notion as this may seem, being a “no fault state” does confer certain advantages in terms of maintaining one’s privacy and other issues that might arise between you and your spouse should your divorce go to court. These might include traditional precipitators of divorce such as adultery, abandonment, mental cruelty and alcoholism, which are unlikely to be aired out as the more pressing matters of child custody and property are addressed.
That said, there are still circumstances when “for cause” issues can become grounds for a legal dissolution of a marriage, which will necessarily have to be explored on the floor of the court. Chief among these are physical and verbal abuse, according to a recent study conducted by custom research firm GFK Roper. Of the 1,500 men and women polled, 36 percent cited domestic violence as the main cause for their divorce. Following in no particular order were financial woes, sexual issues, philosophical differences in child-rearing, religious issues and plain old boredom. Of course, as theologian Paul Tillich observed, “Boredom is rage spread thin.”