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How to challenge your 
no-fault divorce

This only applies if you are a self-representing litigant (pro se). Lawyers will not help you. Period.

Challenging a no-fault divorce means taking on the entire no-fault system by bringing a Constitutional challenge against the State's legislative statute.

Constitutional challenges can be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Generally, a divorce proceeding will start at the trial court. It can be appealed to an intermediary appeals court, then to the State supreme court, and finally to the U.S. Supreme Court.

You will need to do three things before your trial date in order to bring a constitutional challenge and "preserve" your issues for a potential appeal. 

(1) File a Motion to Dismiss

(2) Submit a brief in support of Motion
(3) Send notice to the State's AG

We know which arguments to make and we are willing to help at no cost because we want to see the no-fault system abolished completely. Please contact us for a consultation.

Step 1:

PREPARE A RESPONSE TO THE ORIGINAL COMPLAINT FOR DIVORCE: If you want to contest a no-fault divorce, do NOT hire a divorce lawyer! Divorce lawyers lobbied for no-fault divorce laws, and they make their living from causing more conflict in divorce proceedings. When your spouse files for divorce, you will receive the initial complaint which will likely allege somewhere that the marriage is "irretrievably broken". Some states use different terminology like "irreparable breakdown", "irremediable breakdown", or "incompatability". It all means the same thing. You will be given a short period of time to prepare and submit a response. At the very least, this response should state that you contest the divorce and that "the marriage is NOT irretrievably broken". 

Step 2:

PREPARE A MOTION TO DISMISS: The initial reply will inform your spouse and the Court that you do not agree with the divorce and that this is not a mutual no-fault divorce, but a unilateral no-fault divorce. The initial response will give you enough time to prepare a "Motion to Dismiss", which will ask the Court to dismiss the divorce proceeding. Most states allow a motion to dismiss because of (a) a failure to state a claim under which relief can be granted, and (b) lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. This is what we're going to do, but we have to support it with legal argumentation, which involves proving why the no-fault divorce law is unconstitutional. It is important to bring the argument early and in a short and concise manner in order to preserve the issues if the case needs to be appealed later on.

Step 3:

PREPARE A NOTICE TO THE STATE'S ATTORNEY GENERAL: In order to challenge the constitutionality of a State statute, the State's Attorney General must be notified, giving them an opportunity to intervene as the State's highest law enforcement officer. If you fail to notify the Attorney General, you may not be able to pursue an appeal if the case does not go in your favor at the trial level. 

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