3rd May 2014
Can I get an Absolute Divorce even thought I haven’t been separated for one year?
Yes, if you can prove “adultery” or “cruelty of treatment”.
How do I prove adultery?
You must prove that your spouse had sexual relations with another person without your permission or consent during the course of your marriage. It is almost impossible to provide direct proof and it is not required. In other words, you don’t have to produce someone who witnessed your spouse commit adultery. It can be proven by circumstantial evidence if you can show (1) a “disposition” of your spouse and his/her paramour to commit adultery, and (2) an “opportunity” to commit the offense.
Evidence that your spouse has been alone with the paramour is sufficient to prove “opportunity”. For example evidence that shows your spouse has been to that person’s home or they were at a hotel together on many occasions alone can be sufficient. However, proving disposition can be more challenging. You must show evidence such as a public display of intimacy. Many people hire private detectives who can photograph or video tape their spouse and paramour.
Judges have found that a showing of numerous opportunities along with corroborating evidence has been sufficient to prove adultery. An example would be a spouse who spends the night with someone other than you on a repeated basis, along with cell phone records showing several phone calls between them or text messages discussing their intimate relationship.
How do I prove “cruelty of treatment”?
You must prove that you have been the victim of a pattern of cruel behavior by your spouse which has made it impossible for you to continue with the marriage. Your spouse’s behavior must amount to “gross misconduct”. The cruelty toward you must be so cruel that it impaired or is detrimental to your health and happiness. Your spouse’s behavior must have put you in reasonable fear of your physical or mental well-being. You must also prove that there is no reasonable expectation that the marriage can be reconciled or saved.