A “fault” divorce involves the assigning of blame for the failure of a marriage; that is, one party points to some wrongdoing on the part of the other. Possible examples of fault include adultery, physical or mental cruelty or abuse, desertion, alcohol and/or drug abuse, insanity, impotence or infecting the other spouse with a venereal disease.
In contrast with “fault,” numerous states now allow "no-fault" divorces. In these cases, there is no assigning of blame; rather, both spouses agree that "irreconcilable differences" have arisen, and that the marriage could not be repaired through time or counseling. In states where it is allowed, “no-fault” provides an easier and less hurtful way of ending a marriage.