The legal grounds for divorce vary state by state, which is why you’ve probably heard the phrase “fault-based” vs. “no-fault” states. Now, all states allow for no-fault divorce, which basically means you don’t have to prove anyone was at “fault” for the dissolution of the marriage in order to get a divorce. “Any spouse in a legally valid marriage can typically file for divorce after being separated (emotionally or physically) from their spouse for a period of six months,” says Hughes. This is why “irreconcilable differences” is a common “ground” for no-fault divorces.
But, let’s say you want to get divorced faster (aka skip that six-month separation) or you want to prove that your partner was at fault for the failure of the marriage in order to seek a greater division of marital property or alimony, you could only do this in a fault-based divorce state.
However, as it relates to child custody, child support, alimony, etc., Hughes explains that in most states, the reason for divorce is irrelevant to child support obligations and what is in the best interest of the child(ren) of the parties.