Monday, July 21, 2008

What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Indiana?

Reading the Pennsylvania Family Law Blog's What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Pennsylvania? made me think of comparing this with Indiana's grounds for divorce.

In Pennsylvania:

"A divorce may be granted in Pennsylvania divorce law using either “Fault” or “No-Fault” grounds.
Indiana there is "no fault" divorce - that is how we are all told to think of it - but then I am reading this list of Pennsylvania's "fault" grounds:
Fault grounds include:
(1) adultery;
(2) bigamy;
(3) imprisonment for two or more years;
(4) confinement for incurable insanity for 18 months;
(5) willful desertion for one year;
(6) cruel and inhuman treatment endangering the life of the spouse;
(7) personal indignities.
IC 31-15-2-3 contains all the grounds for an Indiana divorce:
Dissolution of marriage shall be decreed upon a finding by a court of one (1) of the following grounds and no other ground:
(1) Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
(2) The conviction of either of the parties, subsequent to the marriage, of a felony.
(3) Impotence, existing at the time of the marriage.
(4) Incurable insanity of either party for a period of at least two (2) years.
Indiana and Pennsylvania share almost the same language about insanity and have a similar view on felonies and marriage (although Indiana only requires a conviction and not imprisonment). Read on and I will explain why this does not mean Indiana is a fault divorce state.

These are Pennsylvania's "no-fault" grounds, notice the difference from Indiana law:
(1) Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage with the spouses living separate and apart without cohabitation for two years;
(2) irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and the spouses have both filed affidavits they consent to the divorce, and 90 days have elapsed from the date of filing. “Separate and apart” means complete cessation of any and all cohabitation, whether living in the same residence or not, according to Pennsylvania divorce law."
I like our simplicity: irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. No having had to live apart, no need to have had no cohabitation. To get a divorce here, the Petitioner only need agree that there is this irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Does not even matter if the other party thinks otherwise. Which is also why, even if a case fits into any of the other three grounds, we allege an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

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