What are Grounds for Divorce?
Grounds for divorce, as you might expect, can vary wildly. The relevancy of grounds depends entirely on the situation, and are therefore considered on a case by case basis. Off the top of your head, it’s probably easy to think of some common grounds for divorce — adultery, domestic abuse, abandonment, stuff like that. But you’re probably also aware that divorces aren’t only granted to couples with an intense soap-opera backstory. So what exactly qualifies as acceptable grounds for divorce?
Whether divorce is on the table for one single reason or a whole feast of reasons, the legal term for these is the grounds for divorce.
Of course, for many people, No-Fault Divorces are fairytales. It’s not always possible for spouses to agree on every single issue, even if they really wish they could. When disagreements surface and refuse to sink, it’s time to accept the fact that we’re now talking about a Fault-Based Divorce.
In a Fault-Based Divorce, it’s necessary for one spouse to declare the grounds for divorce and provide evidence affirming their relevance. Such grounds include:
- Irreconcilable differences
- Inappropriate marital conduct
- Substance abuse
- Domestic violence
- Abandonment or desertion
- Secret pregnancies
- Secret impotency
- Secret polygamy
- Imprisonment for a felony
- Infamy for criminal behavior
- Willful absence for at least two years
Inappropriate Marital Conduct
One of the most common grounds for divorce is, by far, inappropriate marital conduct. It’s a vague claim that leaves a lot of wiggle room for definition based on the specific circumstances. Inappropriate marital conduct could refer to one momentous event, but it could also indicate a pattern of minor abuses or even inaction. Repeated name-calling, intrusive sexual requests, and acting completely rude are all viable interpretations of inappropriate marital conduct.
Keep in mind that you may have more than one example of grounds for divorce. Don’t just pick one, even if you think it’s the strongest — pick all of them! Assemble as monumental a list as possible and approach the judge with a case that can’t be rejected. Just don’t make anything up.
If you’re struggling to sort out which grounds for divorce are applicable to your circumstances, consult a legal professional. It’s best to leave the complicated questions to a divorce lawyer who has the training and experience to properly answer them. The right attorney will mean the difference between a winning and a losing case, so it doesn’t pay to risk diving in solo.
The grounds for divorce are crucial for any divorce case — surprise, surprise. It would be unreasonable to expect a judge to grant a divorce based on no reasons. Does that mean that you’re not allowed to get divorced unless your spouse cheated on you, or some other dramatic circumstance? Nope!
What we’re talking about here is called a No-Fault Divorce. The great thing about this particular divorce route is that there’s no need for spouses to provide evidence of “grounds”.
In a No-Fault Divorce, both spouses are agreeing to everything. It’s an uncontested divorce. Property and debts are divided agreeably, parenting time and custody is decided amicably, and everybody is nodding their heads because they’re on the same page. There’s no need for litigation when it comes to this brand of separation. An attorney will simply draft the appropriate paperwork, which will at least include a Marital Dissolution Agreement (MDA), and these will be sent to the judge, who will either approve them or not.
Get Some Quality Help from a Competent Legal Professional
This difficult time in your life can be made much easier with the help of a proficient lawyer. Even in the case of an uncontested divorce, you want help from an attorney who you can count on.