What is a no fault divorce? Well, in some states, in order to get a divorce, you must allege some wrongdoing on the part of the person you are trying to divorce. A common ground for divorce in a “fault” divorce state is adultry, and the person making the allegations must prove the grounds for divorce. Talk about adding salt to your wounds! Not only do you get cheated on, but you have to “re-enact the crime” in front of the judge. There are several other grounds for divorce, such as abandonment, which aren’t nearly so emotionally charged, and the grounds for divorce vary from state to state. But I digress.
California is a no fault divorce state, which means that you do not have to prove the grounds for divorce and can simply check the box marked “irreconcilable differences.” Theoretically, this makes the divorce experience that much easier to swallow, as it keeps the recriminations to a minimum and nobody is forced to prove they were wronged (not that people still don’t try to bring it up with the judge, who, while perhaps sympathetic, will not be swayed on purely moral issues).
Incidentally, while divorce is no fault, getting an annulment for a void or voidable marriage is a “fault” undertaking, as you are trying to prove the grounds for the annulment.