CAN BOTH PARTIES GET A DIVORCE ON FAULT GROUNDS? WHAT IF BOTH HAVE GROUNDS?
This law was brought forward in the recent and intriguing case of Kimbrough v. Kimbrough, No. 2010-CA-01279-COA (Decided 2/28/12) In that case, each party sued the other for divorce based upon fault grounds. The Judge found that neither party had proved their grounds for relief, but granted a divorce to both based upon his perceived “mutual desertion” of each other. The intriguing aspect is that neither party had asked for a divorce on the ground of desertion.
The Court of Appeals reversed in a short opinion holding that only one party can be granted the divorce. The Court also found that the Court could not grant a divorce on a basis not pleaded by either party.
As an aside, one has to wonder why both parties appealed the granting of the divorce, when both parties wanted a divorce, and the Judge gave them a divorce, even though he had found that neither had proved their respective grounds?!