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Getting a divorce in any state requires a court judgment that places an official end to the marriage in question. In order for the court to agree to the conclusion of a marriage, there must be a legal grounds, or reason, for the marriage to come to an end. There are numerous factors that can be used as grounds for divorce. A separation is one of these factors, but only in certain circumstances. Understanding what these circumstances are will ensure that you go into the court proceedings fully prepared.
Why a Grounds For Divorce is Necessary
In many cases, people will choose to list a couple of grounds for divorce that they’ve settled on and can prove. Throughout each state, a divorce is only granted if you can prove one ground for the marriage to come to an end. While the only way to be granted a full divorce is to state a grounds for it, something as simple as you not getting along with your spouse any longer is oftentimes sufficient for the court. It’s wise to have a couple of additional reasons as to why the marriage simply won’t work out. In some cases, a separation can be used as a reason.
While separation between you and your spouse can be used as grounds for a divorce, there are some restrictions that apply. While some grounds only need to be supported in writing by both spouses, others need additional proof. If you want to use separation as a grounds for your divorce, it’s essential that you have some extra proof for the court. First, it’s important to note that the only way to use separation as a grounds for divorce is if the separation has lasted a period of one year or longer. This is if the separation was voluntary.
For an involuntary separation, also referred to as a desertion, you can use this as a means for divorce if the separation period is six months or longer before you file for divorce. For a voluntary separation of one year or more, both spouses must have lived in separate places for this duration of time. You can’t use this reason if you’ve gotten back together with your spouse at any point during this period of time. A witness will also need to be available to back up the information you’ve provided the court about the separation. You also won’t be able to imply that your spouse is at fault if using this reason as grounds for divorce.
If the separation isn’t voluntary and can be defined as abandonment or desertion, you will need a witness there to back up the information that’s provided to the court. This witness can’t be the spouse. With both of these separation types, it’s essential that the separation is still ongoing at the time of filing for divorce. If not, you will be unable to use separation as grounds for divorce.