Insanity or mental illness is a ground for fault-based divorce in most states, while other states consider it a ground for no-fault divorce. Insanity is a state of mind in which the afflicted person cannot distinguish between right and wrong. It refers to the inability to handle individual responsibilities expected of ordinary persons in the daily course of life. An insane person may endanger his own life and that of others.
Under the law, a marriage is voidable in cases where either of the spouses is incapable of understanding the contract of marriage. Some states hold that if the party is incapable of understanding because of insanity or serious mental disorder, the marriage is void. Some state statutes provide that mental illness can be a ground for annulment if the defect prevents the afflicted spouse from appreciating the contract and conferring thoughtful consent to the marriage.
In divorce cases, courts usually must divide the parties' marital property between them. Marital property usually includes both marital assets and marital debts, and generally consists of all property acquired by both or either of the spouses during the marriage, other than property acquired by inheritance or gift from a third party. State divorce laws handle marital property differently depending on whether the state follows equitable distribution, straight community property, "all property," or dual property rules.
One of the measures that may be put into place during a divorce proceeding is an order awarding temporary exclusive possession of the parties' marital residence to one of the spouses. Such an order is typically viewed as a harsh remedy and is only to be used when there is evidence of serious misconduct or abuse.
In general, uncontested divorce actions occur when either of the spouses does not appear in court in a divorce proceeding or when both the spouses mutually agree upon a divorce and on matters relating to financial settlements, custody, and/or support of their minor children. Typically, that mutual agreement is shown in the divorce petition, and it may include a waiver of service. Uncontested actions may arise in proceedings for dissolution of marriage, annulment, and separation.