Grounds for Divorce

Overview

“The first marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
The second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.”
“Divorce: Future tense of marriage”

The Issues in Every Divorce Case

                                                                                               

Grounds

Does someone have “Grounds for divorce”?

Finances

Financial issues (monetary award, alimony, child support and attorney fees).

Children

Custody and child-related issues.

The facts important in resolving any one of these issues may not be important in resolving other issues. For example, proving a “fault” ground for divorce may not have a significant impact upon the way in which financial or custody issues are resolved.

Grounds For Divorce

Adultery                                                               
Desertion

If the desertion has continued for 12 months without interruption before the filing of the application for divorce, is deliberate and finalaand there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
Separation For 12 Months

The parties  have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for 12 months without interruption before the filing of the application for divorce and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation;
Felony Conviction

Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor in any state or in any court of the United States if before the filing of the application for divorce the defendant has been sentenced to serve at least 3 years or an indeterminate sentence in a penal institution and served 12 months of the sentence;
Insanity

If the insane spouse has been confined in a mental institution, hospital, or other similar institution for at least 3 years before the filing of the application for divorce, the court determines from the testimony of at least 2 physicians who are competent in psychiatry that the insanity is incurable and there is no hope of recovery and 1 of the parties has been a resident of this State for at least 2 years before the filing of the application for divorce.

Cruelty of Treatment

If it was directed toward the complaining party or a minor child of the complaining party, if there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
Excessively Vicious Conduct

If it was directed toward the complaining party or a minor child of the complaining party, and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

Defenses in a Divorce Case

Recrimination

Recrimination is not a bar to either party obtaining an absolute divorce on any ground, but is a factor to be considered by the court in a case involving the ground of adultery.
Res Judicata

Res judicata with respect to one ground is not a bar to either party obtaining an absolute divorce on the ground of 1-year separation.
Condonation is not an absolute bar to a decree of an absolute divorce on the ground of adultery, but is a factor to be considered by the court in determining whether the divorce should be decreed.

Why A Limited Divorce?

 

Whether or not you want a Limited Divorce will depend on what you are trying to achieve. If you want child support or alimony from your separated spouse, but you need to to avoid the termination of health or other benefits which happens at the time of an Absolute Divorce, a Limited Divorce may be a possible solution. Of course, your spouse may be able to file a Counter-Claim for Absolute Divorce and frustrate your objectives. You may want a Limited Divorce for religious reasons, or because you do not want the court to sell real property or consider a monetary award, which can only be done under an absolute divorce.  

 

What If I Already Have a Limited Divorce?

Can You Later Have an Absolute Divorce?

A court my decree an absolute divorce even if a party has obtained a limited divorce.
Special Desertion Rule

If a party obtained a limited divorce on the ground of desertion, that party may obtain an absolute divorce on the ground of desertion when the desertion meets the requirements for an absolute divorce.

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