Grounds for Divorce/Dissolution

Grounds for Divorce/Dissolution in the U.S. Copyright

Legal Grounds for Divorce/Dissolution

Grounds for divorce/dissolution are legal reasons for termination of a marriage.

No-fault Divorce

A no-fault divorce is one in which neither person blames the other for the breakdown of the marriage. There is no requirement to prove guilt of either party. Common no-fault grounds are irreconcilable differences, irretrievable marriage breakdown, irremediable breakdown of the marriage, or incompatibility of temperament.

These terms indicate that the marriage is over, but no blame is assigned to either spouse. All states have some form of no-fault divorce. But in many states, the couple must live apart for a certain timeframe to obtain one.

Fault-based Divorce

In a fault-based divorce, misconduct by one of the spouses is alleged as the legal basis for divorce/dissolution. Most states still allow couples to obtain a fault-based divorce. Many of the grounds are the same from state to state, such as adultery, some type of cruelty, physical or mental incapacitation, abandonment, and imprisonment.

In a fault-based divorce, the courts require proof of the alleged grounds. If the misconduct cannot be proven or the accused spouse fights or raises a defense to the claim, the divorce can still ultimately be granted on no-fault grounds, since all states offer this option.

Fault-based divorces can often be obtained more quickly than no-fault divorces. And some states take a spouse’s misconduct into account when making decisions about property division and the award of spousal support.

Comparative Rectitude or Least-fault Divorce

When both spouses allege legal fault-based grounds in a divorce action, under a doctrine called comparative rectitude, a court may award the divorce to the spouse whose fault is less serious. These types of divorces are rarely granted, however, since no-fault divorce is far more common.

Grounds for Divorce/Dissolution by State

Grounds for Divorce/Dissolution may vary from state to state. The following links provide general overviews of individual states' divorce grounds.

Individual State Grounds for Divorce/Dissolution

Divorce Articles

  • Divorce after 50
    Many couples over the age of 50 have growing concerns about divorce, both in terms of its prevalence in their lives among friends and family, as well as how to go through the process themselves. Divorce rates among couples over 50 have doubled over the past 25 years, and for couples over 65, rates have tripled.
  • Special Needs Children And Divorce
    The end of a marriage is exhausting and often requires considerable effort and planning to make sure a desirable outcome is achieved. This is even more true when custody issues must be resolved. If the child has special needs, the necessary planning for custody and child support can be more complex.
  • 5 Key Steps to Take when Divorce Is on the Horizon
    If you believe that a divorce may be your best option, it is important to take a few preliminary steps when preparing for the end of your marriage. Read on to learn more.
  • 4 Ways You Can Hurt Your Maryland Divorce Case
    Contrary to what some people may think, there are ways in which parting couples can actually hurt their divorce cases.
  • Retirement Benefits and Divorce
    The United States Supreme Court decided a case involving a military pension which highlights the importance of understanding the nature of retirement benefits in divorce cases.
  • Divorce as a Financial Transaction
    Divorce proceedings are full of various different transactions, and many persons take the events emotionally and with serious intent. However, when the relationship has ended, and everything else remains the same, a divorce may become nothing more than a financial transaction.
  • Difference between Legal and Physical Custody
    A parent is said to have physical custody when he or she has actual, physical custody of marital children on a day-to-day basis. In other words, the child and parent live together.
  • Relocation and Child Custody
    Today’s fluctuating job market ensures that people will move multiple times in their lives, but what happens when a couple is divorced with children and one parent wants or needs to move away from Maryland? These cases are complex and every case will have its own set of unique circumstances.
  • Financial Considerations for Divorce
    Anyone filing for a divorce should consider his or her financial situation. More couples are deciding to divorce at a late age instead of thinking about retirement. This makes the financial analysis more difficult, especially for women who have been out of the labor force.
  • Potential Child Custody Issues for Unmarried Fathers
    In New Jersey, unmarried parents have the same custody rights that married parents do. Child support, custody, and visitation are handled in the same manner that they are for married and divorcing parents. Despite this, there are certain challenges that can arise for parents seeking these rights, particularly fathers who are trying to gain custody rights.

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