grounds for divorce

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The grounds for divorce are the legally acceptable reasons for a divorce. In the U.S., the majority of the states are no-fault divorce states, yet some states still require an individual who files for the divorce to provide why they are choosing to do so. Traditional fault grounds for divorce are adultery and cruelty (among others). While many are able to file for a no fault divorce, the fault may come into play when courts are considering child custody and visitation matters.

Common no-fault grounds are as follows:

  • Irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage;
    • The couple has tried to reconcile and failed, and
    • Further attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family. 
  • If you and your spouse have lived separate and apart continuously for 6 months preceding the entry of judgment. 
[Last updated in February of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]