If you have been contemplating getting a divorce, then your research in to the process has likely unearthed to seemingly contradicting concepts: "grounds for divorce" and "no-fault divorce." Many in Missoula come to us here at the Cunningham Law Office confused as to what those terms in relation to each other. Yes, Montana is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that neither you or your spouse needs to be determined to be "at fault" in ending your marriage. At the same time, the term "grounds for divorce" seems to imply that one of you does indeed need to provide a reason for the other to want to end your marriage.
While no one member of a married couple need to be deemed responsible for ending a marriage, the law still requires that there be a reason for granting a petition of divorce. Per Section 40-4-104 of Montana's Annotated Code, the state recognizes three valid reasons for a divorce. These are:
- Your marriage being irretrievably broken
- You and your spouse living apart for more than 180 prior to one of you petitioning for a divorce
- Serious marital discord exists that adversely affects your or your spouse's (or both) opinion of your marriage
More often than not, your filing for divorce demonstrates serves as sufficient evidence of marital discord and/or that your marriage is broken. Your spouse need not necessarily agree with this opinion in order for the court to consider your petition. If that is the case, the may be asked to consider going through marriage counseling to see if it can help mend your relationship. If after doing so, however, your feelings remain unchanged, the court may indeed fulfill your request.
You can learn more about the process of filing for a divorce by continuing to browse through our site.