• Infidelity. You can in fact get a divorce based on a cheating
partner- but you cannot use an affair on your part to end
a marriage. You cannot use adultery as grounds for divorce
if you and your spouse lived together for more than six months
(that does not have to be consecutive) after you found out
about the affair.
• Unreasonable behavior on the part of either spouse
• Abandonment (you’ve not seen your spouse for more than two
• A separation of at least two years, with both parties consenting
to the divorce. Separation doesn’t mean that the two spouses
must live in separate homes- but be advised, while it is possible
to remain in the same household after a separation, and to
lead separate lives, courts will scrutinize those arrangements.
• Separation of five years (divorce can be filed without the
other spouse’s consent)
• The marriage must endure for at least one year before either
party can file for a divorce. The person who starts divorce
proceedings is called the petitioner, while the other spouse
is the respondent.
Divorce lawyers will usually suggest starting out by writing
your soon-to-be ex-spouse a letter that warns of an impending
divorce. This lays the groundwork for the lawyer’s involvement,
and it can take some of the anxiety out of an already stressful
situation. Most attorneys will also try to establish grounds
for divorce at this time.
After grounds are established, your lawyer will draft a divorce
petition. This document contains information about you, your
spouse and your family, such as: time and place of marriage,
names and birth dates of any children, and a listing of the
reasons why a divorce is sought. This petition, along with
the marriage certificate and a fee are sent to the court.
If you have children under the age of majority, you will have
to submit additional papers telling the court about custody
arrangements. The court will forward a copy of the petition
to your spouse, who will complete and return a consent form.
Thankfully, most divorces these days are uncontested.