- All contested grounds for divorce have now been replaced by 3 uncontested grounds. In addition, the courts will no longer accept complaints for a limited divorce, which was like a egal separation.
- The first ground is six months separation, which allows the separation period to occur even if living In the same home, though the parties have to live completely separately during this period, sleep in different rooms, eat separately and not engage in sexual relations. The second ground is irreconcilable differences, which has not defined, but which information presented would make continuation of the marriage impossible and which can also be filed while residing in the same home. Third, the parties may resolve all issues by written agreement and proceed with a mutual consent divorce, which requires both parties to participate in the proceedings.
These changes are important because they allow parties to file for divorce while they remain living separately in the same house. So many families cannot afford to operate two separate households while they wait for a year of separation to file for divorce.
Though fault grounds no longer exist, this will not preclude a party from using such evidence for purposes of custody and division of marital assets, such as domestic violence, financial control or verbal abuse. .
I look forward to discussing the best way to proceed based on your personal situation in light of these recent changes to the law.