Alimony awards, also called "spousal support," are usually granted at the court's discretion upon a determination, which takes into account certain factors, that spousal maintenance is necessary. Some of the factors considered when determining alimony payments include the education of the spouses, their respective work experiences, income histories, ages, health, the length of the marriage, and the time either spouse has spent out of the work force. Alimony may be either temporary (often called "rehabilitative alimony") or permanent. The court grants rehabilitative spousal support when one spouse has been disadvantaged in order to equalize the burden of the divorce.
Recrimination is a traditional equitable defense to fault-based divorce actions and is based on the principle that a person seeking justice must come to court with clean hands. It seeks to avoid divorce on the ground that the petitioner has engaged in conduct that would entitle the respondent spouse to a divorce. For example, if a wife files for divorce on the ground of her husband's cruelty and if she herself is guilty of committing cruelty against her husband, then the recrimination defense would act to prevent dissolution on the ground of the husband's cruelty.
Bigamy is a criminal offense. It is the act of entering into a second marriage willfully and knowingly during the existence of the valid bond of a first marriage. Some states consider bigamy as a ground for fault-based divorce.
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.
Concealment and misrepresentation are used very commonly in annulment proceedings as part of the fraud ground. Most of the time, annulments for fraud are not granted as a matter of right and are granted only after close consideration. In most states, the courts require clear and convincing evidence of fraud and a showing that the injured party would not have married but for the fraud.