What Are the Grounds For Divorce in the United States?

Divorce is relatively common in the United States. It has decreased throughout the years, but about 40% of married couples still get divorced. It can also vary from state to state. For example, the District of Columbia has the lowest divorce rate in the country, at only 4%, while the state of Arkansas has a divorce rate of 10%.

Americans divorce for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons is the lack of commitment. This could be due to the couple not being on the same page about their future, or someone might have cheated on their spouse. Other reasons for divorce include financial problems, religious beliefs, and abuse.

If you are considering getting a divorce, you should keep a few things in mind. First, here are the general grounds for divorce in the United States.

Qualifying For Divorce in the United States

There are generally two ways to qualify for a divorce in the United States:

Uncontested Divorce

Both spouses agree to the divorce and sign the necessary paperwork with an uncontested divorce. It’s the simplest and most common type of divorce.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is when one spouse does not want to get divorced, or there are disagreements about things like child custody, property division, or alimony. If you have a contested divorce, you must go to court and present your case to a judge.

No-Fault and Fault Divorce

Divorce can also fall into two categories. The first category is no-fault divorce.

No-Fault Divorce

A no-fault divorce is when neither spouse is at fault for the break-up of the marriage. This can be due to things like irreconcilable differences or an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

lawyer talking to client

Fault Divorce

A fault divorce is when one spouse is considered at fault for the divorce. The common grounds for a fault divorce are adultery, abandonment, and abuse.

  • Adultery: If your spouse had an affair, you could get a fault divorce on the grounds of adultery.
  • Abandonment: If your spouse has abandoned you, you may be able to file for a fault divorce.
  • Abuse: If you have been a victim of physical or emotional abuse, you may be able to file for a fault divorce.

Filing for Divorce

If you want to get a divorce in the United States, you must file a petition for divorce with your state court. Your spouse will then be served the divorce papers. Your spouse will then have a certain amount of time to respond to the divorce papers.

After the paperwork is filed and your spouse has been served, you must go through the discovery process. First, each spouse gathers information about the other spouse’s finances, property, and income.

Once discovery is complete, you will need to attend mediation. Mediation is when both spouses meet with a neutral third party to try to agree on the terms of the divorce. You will have to go to trial if you cannot agree during mediation. Having an experienced divorce attorney is essential if you are getting a divorce. An attorney can help you navigate the divorce process and protect your rights. They can also ensure that you are not taken advantage of by your ex-spouse.

Avoiding Divorce

Divorce can be costly, and sometimes one side might be left with little to nothing.

If you are considering getting a divorce, you should try to save your marriage first. There are various ways to do this. One of the most common is marriage counseling.

Marriage Counseling

Marriage counseling is when you meet with a therapist to improve your marriage.

Marriage counseling can help you communicate better, resolve conflict, and build trust. It can also help you understand your spouse better. If you are having trouble in your marriage, consider meeting with a counselor before deciding to divorce.

Prenuptial Agreement

If you’re afraid your spouse might take advantage of you financially in a divorce, you can sign a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement is a contract that you sign before getting married. It outlines each spouse’s rights and obligations during the marriage and in the event of a divorce. It can save you from financial troubles down the line, especially if your spouse is wealthier than you are.

Divorce is never an easy decision, but sometimes it is the best option for everyone involved. If you are considering getting a divorce, make sure you understand the grounds for divorce in the United States and the process for filing for divorce. By doing this, you can be prepared for anything.

Scroll to Top