Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Indiana Alternatives to Divorce: Legal Separation; The Grounds for Legal Separation in Indiana

I outlined the pleading requirements for legal separation in Indiana Alternatives to Divorce: Legal Separation - Pleadings. The Petition must state the grounds for the separation but only IC 31-15-3-3 gives any definition to the term grounds:

Findings required for decree
Sec. 3. Legal separation shall be decreed upon a finding by a court:
(1) that conditions in or circumstances of the marriage make it currently intolerable for both parties to live together; and
(2) that the marriage should be maintained.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.7.
West Publishing places Moore v. Moore, 81 Ind.App. 169, 135 N.E. 362, (1922) as annotation for legal separation, specifically 15-3-4. I think the case more to tell us about legal separation's purpose (my emphases):
“And the court does find that owing to such constant strife between both parties as to render their living together intolerable, that under said first paragraph of complaint there should be a separation from bed and board for a limited time...."
After all where does intolerable end and irretrievable breakdown? For those who may not be aware, most Indiana divorces use the irretrievable breakdown of marriage as the grounds for the dissolution.

Yet, I think all I am showing is the weakness of our legal separation statute. I am not so sure that the parties in Moore would be filing a Petition for Dissolution today. Remember that case is approximately 87 years old and the divorce statute has changed drastically in that time.


Thomas Michaels said...

Good job with the blog. We have a divorce support and resource site located at Divorce Recovery Suite. Swing by and say hello!

Sam Hasler said...

Thanks for the compliment.