At Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. we find a wide range of views held about legal reasons for a divorce. However, these might be reason you want a divorce, but these are not legal reasons. We hope you find this blog post helpful to understanding the emotional and financial and otherwise non-legal aspect of a divorce.
Our belief and position is the more you understand about the divorce process, the better information you can provide to your divorce advocate. As a corresponding point, the more you understand about anything painful in life, the easier it is to accept and get beyond, such as a chronic medical condition.
This noted, there are two (2) common mistake view about why a divorce is legally allowed. The older notion is fault based, which existed in most all jurisdictions and courts until the 1970s. With this, a party had to show the other had caused the breakdown of the marriage. This sometimes kept people together who could not establish fault or led to its fabrication.
This general social notion driving the law ultimately gave way and no fault divorce became the basis for most divorce. However, before turning to legal reasons for a non-fault divorce today, the second observation of a significant number of litigants is a divorce action lies for infidelity.
That is simply not the case. There is place for this in a divorce petition. This may be a reason or the reason you choose not to move forward in a marriage. But your divorce attorney is not going to put it in the divorce petition. Legally is not recognized, any more than drinking and gambling problems.
Further, it will lead to a considerable amount of tension on top of tension–always a bad idea in domestic cases. You may be hurt and down, and there is a time and place for you to relay this in the many twists and turns in a domestic case, but not the filing. It is sure to escalate the situation.
So then, “What are the legal reasons for wanting and petition a court for a divorce?” Under Indiana law, there are four, but the most common by far is fractured and there is an “irretrievable breakdown” in it. As long as one side alleges this and puts on that evidence, it is sufficient.
In may respects, this is an umbrella term to encompass all of the reasons, individually (such as infidelity) or collectively, such as growing apart or having different view on life that make staying together harder than divorcing, different religious views sometimes play a strong factor into this decision.
If a party alleges an “irretrievable breakdown” and means it, this will carry the day. The other legal basis for divorce are not cited more than a few times in Indiana law. Yet in the right case, might be necessary. They are conviction of a felony, impotence (existing at the time of the marriage), and incurable insanity for a period of at least two (2) years.
Nevertheless, even if your case is the “perfect” one to cite one of these other legal bases, remember everything in life, law as well, comes with a tradeoff(s). If you allege as the petitioner that the other party meets the “incurable insanity” definition, recognize that is almost as strong a statement for paying that spouse maintenance following the divorce as long as the insanity continues. A legal theory behind this is better the spouse pick up this financial (and/or moral) responsibility than the state.
Perhaps the strongest case for a legal basis other than an “irretrievable breakdown” would be found if a spouse commits a serious crime unknown to the other. This basis would put the world on notice even the other spouse finds the criminal act reprehensible. Some of the marriage of the titans of Wallstreet felled by Ponzi schemes might fall under this legal basis for a divorce.
In addition, there might be strategic reasons as well to insulate one spouse from the other in the context of a crime, including mitigating civil or criminal risk for the other. Impotence is perhaps the rarest of all legal bases. This is sure to generate hostility in the litigation. Nevertheless, it is a legal basis. Where procreation and a family is the sole focus a party in this situation, it is a legal basis.
In better than 99% of cases, the “irretrievable breakdown” basis is the reason for the filing. There is always a time and place to make a harm or objection know to the other spouse who may need to hear this in order to facilitate closure. These situations are rare.
Finally, a party cannot stop a divorce because they disagree that the marriage is “irretrievable broken.” There are counseling provisions that might be considered if this is the situation you face as you contemplate a divorce or filed. At Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. we practice throughout the State of Indiana. We hope you find useful educational information in understanding the legal bases for a divorce.