What Are Valid Grounds for Divorce?

Some say it is better to divorce than stay in an unhappy relationship. No one died because of the divorce. Are you planning to file for divorce? Then you must first consider the grounds for divorce.

A divorce can take place for many reasons. In legal terms, these reasons are called grounds. The grounds for divorce need to be specified as part of the divorce process.

Suffice it to say that people often think there is an “inconsistent difference” in marriage. But in court, it is obligatory to prove the irreversible breakdown of the marriage. It must fall under the legally defined categories.

Valid Grounds for Divorce

A divorce can be filed if the couple has been married for at least one year. The divorce law has been changed drastically over the past few years. But always, there is just one legal ground for divorce – that is, the marriage has permanently broken down.

The divorce proceedings begin with the filing of a divorce petition in court. The couple who starts proceedings must prove that the marriage has broken down for any of the following reasons.

  1. Adultery

Adultery refers to having sexual intercourse with someone of the opposite sex except the spouse. You could use the ground of adultery if your spouse had sexual relations with someone else. It must be with someone of the opposite sex; else, it doesn’t count as adultery.

You must prove to the court that it becomes unbearable to live with your spouse. If it becomes tough to prove adultery, it is advisable to use the ground of inept behavior instead.

Only the spouse can use the ground of adultery who was cheated. The joint appeal for divorce based on adultery will likely be rejected. If the spouse forgives the other spouse’s adultery, then the ground for adultery can’t be used.

The ground of adultery can be used within 6 months of being cheated while filing for divorce. If you still live as a couple for 6 months after knowing about it. But if both the spouses had sexual intercourse with others, either spouse can file for divorce.

  1. Metal or Physical Abuse

Metal abuse denotes hurting someone that is not physical. It means;

  • Insulting or harassing the spouse
  • Threatening the spouse
  • Mistreating the spouse or humiliating
  • Having an affair

Physical abuse denotes;

  • Beating and hurting the spouse
  • Abusing the spouse sexually

Any type of abuse makes it unbearable for the suffering spouse to live with other spouses. So mental or physical abuse can be used as a ground for divorce. In such a case, the judge considers the following while deciding the nature of abuse;

  • The action of the abusive spouse
  • Characteristics like personality, ego, and socio-economic condition of each spouse
  • Whether the action of an abusive spouse is intentional
  • How often does it happen
  • Impact of the abuse on the victim

The spouse who has been abused can only use this reason as a ground for filing for divorce. The court usually refuses if they find joint requests for divorce.

  1. Unreasonable Behavior

There are basically two different situations where the application for divorce is grounded in unreasonable behavior. The first one is where it has actually happened. Then, where none other grounds for divorce apply.

Unreasonable behavior can lead to severe allegations, like domestic violence or drunkenness. However, it also includes obscure issues like lack of support to the family. Actually, unreasonable behavior is counted as a very meager ground for filing for divorce.

While filing for divorce, the complainant’s spouse must give some practical reasons. The incident of unreasonable behavior must have happened less than 6 months before filing for divorce.

  1. Separation for at least one year

Separation means living apart from each other or doesn’t intend to live together any longer. Separation for at least one year is enough to prove that they don’t want to live together anymore.

While living under the same roof, a spouse can still file for a divorce for the following reasons.

  • They live in separate rooms
  • They hardly talk to each other
  • They don’t have a sexual relationship
  • They don’t participate in household chores together
  • They don’t eat together

All in all, they live separate lives even after living under the same roof. The judge justifies if they are actually living separately for at least one year.

  1. Desertion

Desertion can be used if your spouse leaves you. Using this ground without any agreement or a good reason may be possible. Your spouse may have left you over 2 years. However, it is too rarely used for divorce.

  1. Separation for more than 2 years with the agreement

This ground can be used if the couple has been separated for at least two years with consent.

  1. Separation for more than 5 years without agreement

If the couple has been living separately for more than 5 years, this ground can be used to file for divorce.

How Should You Proceed?

If you want to know whether you have valid grounds for divorce, it is advisable to contact a divorce lawyer. An experienced divorce lawyer can guide you throughout the divorce process.

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