Grounds for divorce include sexual misconduct, adultery, mental illness, alcoholism or drug addiction, according to About.com Relationships. Withholding sex or carnal abandonment can also be used as grounds for divorce as well as cruel and abusive treatment, long-term incarceration, desertion, impotency, and an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Each state has varying divorce laws that outline actions or behaviors that constitute grounds for divorce, according to About.com Relationships. Couples must cite a reason for ending the marriage in most states and can use irreconcilable differences to summarize grounds for divorce that do not apply to the established grounds. Divorce laws in some states allow one spouse to file for divorce even if the other spouse is not in agreement.
Some states may require that couples list grounds for divorce but in most cases, a no-fault divorce is upheld in court, explains About.com Relationships. A no-fault divorce stipulates that the courts do not establish fault with one or both parties involved in the divorce. States have adopted a no-fault divorce procedure to help keep emotions out of the courtroom so that the proceedings can move quickly through the family court system. No-fault divorces do not place blame when reaching negotiations or settlements in family court. Couples can reach agreements on their own, though, prior to court proceedings when dividing property or assets.