Decree of legal separation; grounds




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2590425-904.  Decree of legal separation; grounds

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, if a husband and wife have entered into a covenant marriage pursuant to this chapter the court shall not enter a decree of legal separation pursuant to chapter 3, article 2 of this title unless it finds any of the following:

1.  The respondent spouse has committed adultery.

2.  The respondent spouse has committed a felony and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment in any federal, state, county or municipal correctional facility.

3.  The respondent spouse has abandoned the matrimonial domicile for at least one year before the petitioner filed for legal separation and refuses to return.  A party may file a petition based on this ground by alleging that the respondent spouse has left the matrimonial domicile and is expected to remain absent for the required period.  If the respondent spouse has not abandoned the matrimonial domicile for the required period at the time of the filing of petition, the action shall not be dismissed for failure to state sufficient grounds and the action shall be stayed for the period of time remaining to meet the grounds based on abandonment, except that the court may enter and enforce temporary orders pursuant to section 25 315 during the time that the action is pending.

4.  The respondent spouse has physically or sexually abused the petitioner, a child, a relative of either spouse permanently living in the matrimonial domicile or has committed domestic violence as defined in section 13 3601 or emotional abuse.

5.  The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for at least two years before the petitioner filed for legal separation.  A party may file a petition based on this ground by alleging that it is expected that the parties will be living separate and apart for the required period.  If the parties have not been separated for the required period at the time of the filing of the petition, the action shall not be dismissed for failure to state sufficient grounds and the action shall be stayed for the period of time remaining to meet the grounds based on separation, except that the court may enter and enforce temporary orders pursuant to section 25 315 during the time that the action is pending.

6.  The respondent spouse's habitual intemperance or ill treatment of the other spouse is of such a nature as to render their living together insupportable.



7.  The respondent spouse has habitually abused drugs or alcohol.25904



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