Different Grounds for Divorce

Different Grounds for Divorce - Lawyers - Family

If you wish to get a divorce, you can either file for a no-fault divorce with your soon to be ex-spouse or your can file yourself if you can prove that your spouse has done something wrong. You may only site one claim as your grounds for divorce.

If you are filing for a no fault divorce, you will have to site your grounds for divorce as irreconcilable differences, or in some states, irretrievable breakdown of marriage. If you are divorcing your spouse independently, there are many different grounds for divorce, the restrictions of which vary from state to state. Below are some of the most common grounds for divorce.


Adultery is when your spouse had sex with someone other than you. This is grounds for divorce as long as you have not continued to live with your spouse for more than six months after discovering your spouse’s adultery.

Abusive and Cruel Treatment

Abusive and cruel treatment is a general term that covers various kinds of bad behavior in a marriage. It can include a range of abuse from physical or emotional to a lack of reasonable hygiene to inadequate sex. You will most likely have to describe your spouses undesirable behavior in 4-6 paragraphs in your divorce petition.

Addiction to Drugs or Alcohol

If your spouse has been addicted to drugs or alcohol for at least two years it can be considered grounds for a divorce.

Long-term Incarceration

If your spouse commits a crime and receives an extended prison sentence, it may be grounds for you to divorce them.


Impotency, or the inability to perform sexually, can be considered grounds for a divorce, if you were unaware of your spouse’s impotency when you married them. You will need evidence or testimony to support your claim.

Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage

If either or both parties are unwilling to cohabitate and continue a spousal relationship, then this can be considered grounds for a divorce. As mentioned above irretrievable breakdown of marriage can be sited in a no fault divorce in some states, as well.


If your spouse has been mentally ill for a number of years, you may be able to use insanity as grounds for a divorce.

Additional Help

This is an incomplete list, and the laws of each claim vary from state to state, so you should consult a divorce attorney in order to figure out what is the best claim for your divorce in your state. With the help of TalkLocal, you can be on the phone in minutes with up to three high quality divorce attorneys in your area, that are available when you are.

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