What is a “no fault” divorce?


Kansas is a “no-fault” divorce state. But what does that mean? A “no fault” divorce means that the usual ground for divorce is “incompatibility.”

When a person asks the court to grant a divorce for “incompatibility,” it means the relationship between husband and wife has broken. And that the parties’ relationship has degraded to a point where they cannot get along with each other any more, or that they don’t want to live together any longer, that they cannot stay married to each other — or do not want to remain married.

When a divorce is filed because the parties are “incompatible,” there is no need to prove that anyone did anything wrong — only that they cannot remain married or do not want to remain married.

Kansas appeals court cases indicate that if one person wants a divorce and says that he or she is “incompatible” with the other spouse, then the husband and wife are, by definition, “incompatible” – even if the other spouse does not want a divorce, or thinks that they can work out their problems, or doesn’t think the problems are “any big deal.”

Kansas courts are required to grant a divorce if one spouse asks for a divorce to be granted.

When a divorce petition is filed, the petition usually says only that the husband and wife are “incompatible.” A party filing for divorce (or filing a “counterclaim” for divorce may claim “fault” grounds for the divorce; however, Kansas appellate decisions indicate this does not have any effect upon the way in which the courts decide issues in the divorce, unless that allegation has specific relevance to the issue to be decided.