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Common Defenses for a Fault-Based Divorce

Marriage is intended for a lifetime, but unluckily this is not guaranteed. At times, you and your spouse can agree to separate amicably when you realize the marriage is no longer working. This type of separation is known as no-fault divorce and is the cheapest and simplest one you can get. In some cases, however, couples go the fault-based divorce way. In this option, you have viable legal grounds for asking for a divorce.

In Albuquerque, most couples seeking the services of a divorce attorney to handle a fault-based divorce are not necessarily fighting over something. In some instances, the spouse asking for the divorce only wants to gain the upper hand in a separation. To this end, without expert legal representation, your ex gets a bigger alimony share and marital property and an advantage in child custody arrangements.

You nonetheless can fight the faults they present in court as a basis for your divorce. The following are the defenses an attorney might use in your case.


This happens when one spouse sets up the other to do something that he/she will use as the basis of a divorce. Unfortunately, connivance is a limited defense that can only apply in divorce cases with adultery as the basis of separation. In this instance, a spouse will encourage the partner to have an affair then turn around and accuse him/her of adultery.


In this defense, you will aim to prove that your spouse knew the actions he/she now uses grounds for divorce but forgave you. Like connivance, the condonation defense generally applies in cases involving adultery. If you can evidence that your spouse was aware of an affair but forgave you and is now using it as the grounds for your separation, the courts might give a favorable ruling on the elements of your case.


woman and her lawyer in conversation with husband during divorce process

Here, you will aim to establish that your spouse is engaged in the same acts he/she is now claiming as the grounds for your divorce. If for instance, your spouse accuses you of abandonment, substance abuse, cruelty or adultery, you can get these grounds negated if he/she is also found guilty of the same. Though challenging to prove without coming off as a vengeful and desperate spouse, a seasoned attorney can manage to do so.


This generally applies in divorce proceedings where a spouse cites domestic violence as the cause for the separation. In some cases, a spouse might deliberately provoke you into emotional or physical abuse to record the same and use it as the basis for your divorce. While there is no excuse for domestic violence, you can get off easy if you prove that your spouse abused you first or did something to provoke you into acting as you did.

Inhumane treatment, desertion, adultery, and spousal abuse are some of the common grounds for a fault-based divorce. To ensure these are not unfairly used in your case, the above defenses will prove essential. You might not have much of an issue with the advantage your spouse will get from the grounds he/she cites for your separation. Some of these grounds nonetheless attract criminal charges while others affect your social life long after the divorce.

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