Fundamentals of Divorce Law



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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

  • Challenges of Divorce Series: Part 1 - Single Parenting and Crime Rates in Utah
    The hardest thing to face as a single parent in Utah are the intense emotions associated with being both a mother and a father to a child. This is further magnified when the other parent is absent or is deliberately not doing anything to fulfill his/her part in the caring for the children. More often than not, the single parentís psychological well being bogs down.
  • Men After Divorce: How to Recover
    Divorce an affect men in a unique manner. Here are some of the challenges for men who are facing divorce.
  • Spending Time Apart Isnít Good for a Marriage
    Being in the military has its fair share of drawbacks. Military personnel are well aware of the fact that being in the military and serving their country comes with the possibility of being away from home for months, if not years, at a time. During times of war, men and women are gone for even longer.
  • Jail Isnít Always the Best Option for Those Owing Child Support
    Often times, custodial parents might agree that someone who doesnít pay child support should be forced to deal with the potential consequences. For example, many people feel that any father who flees the country to avoid having to pay child support should wind up spending time behind bars. Sending the individual to jail might not be the smartest move for the family, which is the case in one situation recently.
  • Are Secret Accounts Really the Best Idea?
    When it comes to getting a divorce, money always comes into play when dealing with alimony, assets and especially child support. Many people are taking the necessary steps to prepare for their future in the event of a divorce.
  • Divorce Mediation is Another Option for Florida Divorce
    Litigating a divorce may always be an option for Florida couples, but it isn't the only option. For couples that want an alternative, there is divorce mediation or collaborative law. It isn't always necessary to make ending a marriage an adversarial process. Sometimes, couples end up better of handling matters outside the courtroom.
  • Parent Visitation Rights FAQ
    Any divorce or child custody case can be difficult. Once parental responsibility is established, having a chance to spend time with the minor children is important. Nothing can replace having a presence in the growth and development of a childís life.
  • Who Gets the Debt: Divorce and Bankruptcy
    Divorces can be very complex, especially when there are major financial obligations, property and debts to divide. The situation can get very messy when there is a huge financial loss at stake for one or both parties. One of the biggest myths about getting divorced is that you can pass on your debt to the other party. This is simply not true. Without question, you can divorce your spouse, but what happens to those debts that you incurred while married?
  • The Struggle of Getting a South Carolina Divorce
    In South Carolina, the divorce process is often lengthy and expensive due to a series of laws that control divorce and separation.
  • In Divorce: Preparation Helps Lead to Settlement
    The vast majority of clients who have a family law matter would like to reach a reasonable settlement. The question is how do they get there when a case cannot settle from the very beginning. This article addresses how preparation is the best way to achieve settlement in a case that does not initially settle.