Fundamentals of Divorce Law





Fundamentals of U.S. Divorce Law Copyright HG.org

Divorce Law Basics

The legal termination of a marriage is referred to by different names, Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage being the two most well-known. Couples seeking a divorce must obtain one via a court judgment, after which they will be awarded a judicial decree which declares that the marriage is dissolved. After a divorce has been legally finalized, both parties are free to remarry, pending time restrictions in some jurisdictions, which vary.

Divorce orders may address various issues depending upon the specific circumstances of the parties to the divorce, such as whether there is property to be divided and/or children for whom provisions must be made. Therefore, when applicable, these orders may deal with matters such as property and bill division, alimony or spousal support, child custody, visitation, and child support, as well as any other pertinent matters that the court judges to be relevant and necessary.

When a divorce action is initiated, it may be brought by either or both parties and may be contested or uncontested. When both spouses desire the divorce and are able to come to an agreement on the relevant issues, they may obtain an uncontested divorce, which allows them to proceed through the court process far more easily and quickly than when there are unresolved issues. These uncontested divorces are the most common. Quite often these types of divorces are obtained without legal counsel.

A smaller group of married couples, though, are unable or unwilling to reach an agreement with regard to the termination of their marriage and the ensuing issues. These contested divorces take a great deal longer, make it necessary to retain legal counsel, and usually require judicial intervention to come to a conclusion and obtain orders regarding the relevant issues.

Each state creates its own laws, codes, statutes and rules for handling the termination of a marriage as well as the other associated factors. Common law in each state also plays a role. Because of this, there is no uniformity, and instead divorce laws, policies and procedure often vary greatly from one state jurisdiction to the next.


Divorce Law Basics by State

Divorce Law Articles

  • What Is Voluntary Underemployment and What Difference Can it Make in the Final Outcome of a Divorce?
    Remember, an accusation of voluntary underemployment must be proven in court and it takes a well trained legal mind to know how to do this to the court’s satisfaction.
  • New Jersey Parental Alienation
    Separation can be extremely stressful especially when children are involved and also affected.
  • How to Make a Parenting Plan in New Jersey
    There are two ways to make parenting plan in New Jersey. The first is with a legal professional and the second is to make your own using online templates.
  • How Child Support Is Determined in New Jersey
    If you are no longer with the mother/father of your child and do not have full custody then at some point child support will need to be determined.
  • Grandparents’ Rights
    A common question when determining custody of children is whether, and to what extent, grandparents have a claim to custody, visitation, and guardianship of children. It can be difficult to make important decisions regarding custody or guardianship of a child when the family is at odds.
  • Property Division Issues in Maryland
    In the state of Maryland, property is divided in divorce through a process referred to as “equitable distribution.” The intent is that each spouse leaves the marriage with a “fair and equitable” share of the marital property, as determined based on fairness and need. It is intended to compensate a spouse who holds title to less than an equitable portion of the marital property.
  • Equitable Distribution for Pre-Marital Co-Habitation
    Worldwide people are marrying later and the United States is no exception. In 2015 the average age for marriage was 28, and in 2014 barely half of all Americans were married. With many millennials waiting until their thirties to say “I do,” longer co-habitation periods are becoming the norm for couples.
  • Forensic Accounting and Divorce
    During a divorce proceeding, some of the most contentious issues arise out of financial disputes. When the marital estate is sizable and one spouse has always been in charge of a couple’s finances, it may be worth hiring a forensic accountant to aid in determining the value of assets in a divorce.
  • California Enforcement of Child Support Orders from Other States
    California draws many of its residents from other states. Many people who move into the state are divorced and are receiving or are paying child support.
  • How to Prevent Your Spouse from Taking Your Child Out of the Country
    There are many reason why a parent may need to be concerned about their child being taken out of the country.



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