Comparative Rectitude

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The principle by which adivorceis awarded to the party whose fault is less serious in cases where both spouses allege grounds that would justify a divorce.

The idea of fault in divorce actions stemmed from the idea that a marriage remained alive until one partner's guilt destroyed it. This gave rise to problems such as people lying in court to obtain a divorce when both parties mutually wanted to end the marriage.

When a divorce based upon comparative rectitude occurs, the spouse with less fault might acquire rights denied to the other spouse, such as the right to remarry.

A divorce of this type, also called a least-fault divorce, is rarely granted. This is due to the increasing number of states that have adopted no-fault divorce laws, eliminating fault as a ground for divorce.