Grounds For Divorce
Grounds for divorce are spelled out in the lawful statutes of each individual state. The granting of divorces are usually based on the idea of fault, or no fault, depending on the state in which the divorce is filed.
Typically, adultery, desertion, alcoholism, drug addition, insanity, spousal abuse, child abuse or molestation, criminal misconduct, and imprisonment, just to name a few, are grounds for divorce.
- Adultery: The voluntary course taken by a spouse to have an extramarital sexual affair. The act of cheating, or committing an act of infidelity, adultery is, overall, the most common cause of divorce.
- Desertion: When one spouse makes the decision to terminate living arrangements with the other spouse without justification or consensual agreement.
- Alcoholism: The continual drunkeness of one spouse that threatens the well being of the other spouse, the children, and others around them, or the continual perpetuation of alchohol induced, embarrassing, conduct in public.
- Drug Addiction: The unlawful use of illegal drugs that might lead to an arrest or, in some cases, the raid on a home, by police or other drug enforcement agencies. Drug addiction may also include the abusive use of prescription and over the counter drugs.
- Spousal Abuse: The mental or physical mistreatment by one spouse towards the other. Mental cruelty may be constant verbal tirades, the use of vulgar language, ridicule, or mean spirited contempt or other rude behavior, or acts intentionally committed to undermine the mental stability of the other spouse. Physical abuse is the beating, punching, slapping, pushing, kicking, cutting, shooting, or any act that may cause personal injury to one spouse by the other. Spousal rape is also consider abuse under the laws of most states and is punishible by law.
- Child Molestation: As a grounds for divorce, child molestation is the most serious offense that can be committed by a parent, whether it is against his or her own child, or any child. The sexual abuse of a child is a heinous act and is punishable under the full weight of the law. Having sexual relationships with a minor, a child under the age of 18, whether consensual or not, under most state and federal jurisdictions, is considered statutory rape, and is punishable by long prison terms. An individual who is convicted of child molestation, unless vendicated by the courts, will always be considered a sex offender, and his or her names are placed on a sex offender's registry.
- Criminal Misconduct: If a spouse is found guilty of committing a serious crime, especially if it means having to serve a long jail or prison sentence, it is, in most jurisdictions, considered grounds for divorce.
- Insanity: In cases where a condition of mental illness is determined and the condition makes it impossible to have a normal relationship, a divorce may be granted, although some states require proof that the mental condition is incurable.
- Invalid Marriage: Proof has to be established that the marriage took place under false or invalid circumstances, such as bigamy. Bigamy is the act of marrying while already married, legally, to someone else. Under a bigamous marriage, an annulment may be granted in some states, but an annulment may prevent the award of child support or alimony. In other states, a divorce action may still be required.
In some states, a divorce may be granted due to irreconcilable differences or incompatibility. In such cases, the marriage is placed under scrutiny instead of the examination of which spouse is at fault.
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