What Exactly Are Grounds For Divorce?


Grounds for divorce can take many different forms. The specific reasons will change from one couple to the next, with every instance being unique. Often, it’s just a matter of realizing that you’re not as compatible as you first thought. Other times, there are serious mitigating issues like abuse or adultery. Before you take any legal steps toward getting a divorce, you’ll need to be clear about exactly what your reasons are.

Aside from the personal differences between one couple and the next, reasons for divorce can also be dictated by the laws of each state, which may also differ. No matter what the specific reasons, though, every state has two general ways that you can file: fault and no fault. As their names suggest, these options have to do with how and where blame is assigned for the breakup of the marriage.

No fault divorce does away with the need for blame entirely, with both parties agreeing to dissolve the marriage without specifying fault either way. Because stating specific grounds for divorce can be difficult, this option is becoming more and more popular as it allows for a much quicker divorce ruling and a much easier distribution of marital assets.

Things get trickier when you start talking about a fault divorce. In this type, specific reasons for divorce must be stated. These can include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, mental illness and criminal conviction. In some states, legal grounds may also include drug abuse, impotency and religious reasons.

At other times, the grounds for divorce may not be quite so easy to establish. There are a lot of layers to any relationship, and a great deal of emotional baggage that goes with them. Sometimes, couples just fail to meet each other’s emotional needs, leaving the two of them feeling as if they can no longer get along.

For this reason, filing for divorce is never an easy choice and it is one that requires much careful consideration. This is true in every case, but particularly when there are children involved. Explaining the reasons for divorce is hard enough in court; it can be nearly impossible to do so adequately to satisfy children who may be feeling scared and hurt by the whole thing.

These are just some of the many issues you’ll need to deal with if you opt to file for divorce. An attorney can help from a legal standpoint, but you might also want to employ the services of a mediator to help you try and work through your differences more positively. This may be the best option for everyone involved so that the divorce does not end up causing any more pain and acrimony than necessary.

No matter what the grounds for divorce and no matter whether you opt for a fault or no fault format, it doesn’t have to be the angry, spiteful process that most people think of when they hear the word divorce. The breakup of any marriage is a sad reality but it can be a lot less painful if you go about it the right way and try to be as reasonable as possible.

The author of this blog is not an attorney and the information contained in these blogs should not be considered legal advice. The information provided here is based on the experience of the author and some of her clients whose actual names are not mentioned. Do not hesitate to seek the advice of an attorney if you have any legal questions.

Posted in Amicable Divorce and Conflict Resolution, Divorce Support and tagged , , .

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