The term “grounds for divorce” refers to the specific cause of action. There are two basic categories of grounds: those premised upon the guilt of one party and the innocence of the other, generally referred to as “fault” grounds, and those causes of action premised upon the state of the marriage itself. Since marital misconduct is irrelevant in establishing any of the latter category of grounds, divorces based upon these causes of action are generally referred to as “no-fault” grounds.
A divorce on fault grounds will lie where the plaintiff proves two things: that the plaintiff is the innocent and injured party and that the defendant is guilty of any one of six categories of marital misconduct: desertion, adultery, cruel and barbarous treatment, bigamy, imprisonment for a crime and indignities.
There are two basic types of no-fault divorce. Each requires a finding that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” with the additional requirement of either the consent of both parties to a divorce or a separation of more than one year. The parties need not have separate residences in order to be living separate and apart. Where both parties consent, a decree in divorce may be entered 90 days after the date of filing of the divorce.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstances of needing a divorce, contact Aaron & Merwin, P.C. to obtain a consultation.