Most Western jurisdictions have a no-fault divorce system, which requires no allegation or proof of fault of either party. The barest of assertions suffice. For example, in countries that require "irretrievable breakdown," the mere assertion that the marriage has broken down will satisfy the judicial officer. In other jurisdictions requiring irreconcilable differences, the mere allegation that the marriage has been irreparable by these differences is enough for granting a divorce. Courts will not inquire into facts. A "yes" is enough, even if the other party vehemently says "no."
The application can be made by either party or by both parties jointly.
In jurisdictions adopting the 'no-fault' principle regarding whether to grant a divorce, some courts may still take into account the fault of the parties when determining some aspects of the content of the divorce decree, e.g., its terms for the division of property and debts and the absence, or amount, of spousal support. Provisions related to child custody are determined using a different fundamental standard: the child's or children's best interests; At the same time, some behaviors that may constitute marital fault (e.g., violence, cruelty, endangerment, neglect, or substance abuse) may also qualify as factors to be considered when determining child custody, they do so for the independent reason that they provide evidence as to what arrangement is in the child's or children's best interests in the future.
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