Family Law Attorney Jennifer Abrams Shares Seven Different Legal Grounds for Dissolution of Marriage
Today, approximately 25 percent of all American marriages end in divorce. People may choose to end their marriages for various reasons, from basic incompatibility to marital infidelity.
Jennifer Abrams, a family law attorney from Las Vegas, NV, shares six different types of legal grounds for dissolution of marriage — three for divorce and three for annulment, explaining how they may affect your fortunes after the dissolution has taken place.
The most common type of divorce is the no-fault divorce. This means that a marriage has irretrievably broken down past the point of salvaging it. Irreconcilable differences and incompatibility are included under the no-fault divorce. While no one is legally at fault, both parties have decided that they no longer wish to remain married.
Historically, divorce was based on fault. The days of having to prove adultery, abuse, or abandonment are long gone.
2. Living Apart For At Least One Year
Living separate and apart for at least one year can be a legal basis for divorce.
In most cases, litigants opt to file on the basis of incompatibility as the only evidence required to support a claim of incompatibility is the testimony of one spouse stating that the likes and dislikes of the parties have become so divergent that they can no longer live harmoniously as a married couple. Family law attorney Jennifer Abrams would recommend filing based on incompatibility absent unusual circumstances.
3. Incurable Insanity For Two Years
A spouse’s incurable insanity for two years is a basis for divorce. However, divorce filings rarely aver insanity because proving it would require findings and testimony of medical or psychological experts.
If you were defrauded into marrying someone, you might have legal grounds for an annulment. In fraud cases, you may have been tricked into marriage by a dishonest spouse. If you know that you have experienced this situation, consulting an experienced family law lawyer is right.
5. Inability To Consent
If you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of marriage, you may have a basis for an annulment based on lack of capacity. This does not apply to situations where the wedding was planned months in advance during sobriety, but alcohol was consumed after the exchanging of vows. It applies to situations where a couple is out drinking or using drugs and wake up the next day to learn they got married. In such situations, the inebriated individual is not capable of consenting to the marriage and therefore, the marriage may be annulled on this basis.
Minors also lack the capacity to consent to a marriage and require the consent of at least one parent.
6. Want of Understanding
If, after the marriage, you learn something about your spouse that is a deal-breaker (i.e., had you known that information before the marriage, you would not have said “I do”), then your marriage may be annulled for want of understanding. Examples include learning that your spouse has no intention of ever having children, your spouse is impotent, or your spouse has no intention of living in the United States.
7. Void In Equity
In general, any basis for setting aside a legal contract would fall under this category for annulment of a marriage.
Some marriages are void from inception. For example, if two siblings get married or if first cousins get married, those marriages are void ab initio.
A marriage is also considered void from inception of one of the parties already has a living spouse at the time of the purported marriage.
Ending a marriage is a difficult proposition and should not be taken lightly. It will have far-reaching effects on your daily life as well as on your children, family, and relationships. However, in many cases, ending a marriage is the best thing you can do to preserve your health, safety, and happiness.
If you are considering a dissolution of your marriage but aren’t sure how to proceed, speak with a qualified and highly experienced family law attorney like Jennifer Abrams. Having a quality attorney in your corner can help you work through the grounds for your possible divorce and help you decide how to deal with the end of your marriage.