Common grounds for a legal separation include adultery, cruel and inhuman treatment, neglect or refusal to provide support, and abandonment. An imprisonment of three or more consecutive years also warrants a legal separation, notes the law office of J. Douglas Barics.
Any reason that demonstrates that a marriage is irretrievably broken forms grounds for a legal separation, according to the Drexler Law Group. Adultery, wasting financial resources and domestic violence form common grounds for both divorce and legal separation. Alcohol, drug, sex and gambling addictions, which often end relationships, may justify a decree for a legal separation. To obtain a legal separation, either spouse must testify that the marriage is irretrievably broken and demonstrate that therapy or counseling cannot lead to reconciliation.
An abandonment claim must prove that the defendant voluntarily separated from the plaintiff without the consent of the spouse, without any justification and without the intent to resume cohabitation, states the law office of J. Douglas Barics. If one spouse denies the other sexual relations, locks the other out of their marital home or behaves in a manner that makes it impossible for the couple to live together, the affected party has grounds to seek a legal separation. Spousal neglect is the most common ground for separation actions.