The path to divorce starts with filing a petition. Within this document, you must give the court the reason why you are requesting the legal action. In most states, you have a few ways you can move forward with the assistance of a divorce lawyer, like from the Law Office of Daniel Wright. It comes down to deciding whether you want to assign blame to the other spouse or not.
Some states that give people options. When it comes to the reason for your divorce, you may choose not to assign any blame. The no-fault grounds means that you admit that your marriage is broken and unable to be fixed. Going this route means you are neither taking nor assigning blame for the decline of the marriage. This may work for you if your spouse has been institutionalized for a mental disorder for at least 18 months. The stay at the care facility must be expected to last another 18 months at the time you file for divorce. If you are fortunate, perhaps you and your spouse agree to the divorce. This mutual consent means you will be restored to single status much sooner and that you are going the no-fault route.
Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce
In some instances, you may find it wise to assign blame to your spouse for the breakdown of your relationship. If you wish to do this, you must cite one of the following reasons for the broken marriage.
Adultery – Your spouse engaged in a relationship with someone else.
Bigamy – You found that your spouse was married to more than one person.
Incarceration – Your spouse is in jail for at least two years.
Abandonment – Your spouse disappeared for two years.
Cruelty – Your spouse has physically or emotionally put your life at risk.
There are some possible reasons why you would want to choose a fault-based divorce. You may have a prenuptial agreement that cites one of these as a reason for nullifying it or enhancing it. Some prenups have morality clauses, meaning if one spouse cheats, the other gets more.
The Judge’s Ruling
At the onset of divorce court, you may have to explain why you are choosing to assign fault. You cannot just cite one of these reasons and then never furnish proof of it. On the contrary, some judges may want to see the evidence before allowing you to continue along.
There may be strategic advantages to moving forward with an at-fault divorce. A family lawyer can better explain why this may or may not work for you.