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

  • Divorcing Someone in the Military
    Military lives are different in many ways. Someone who is part of the military can be divorced in our state courts just like everyone else. However, as we all know, there are some differences in military life that could make divorce a bit more complicated.
  • Fathers’ Rights in New Jersey
    When children are involved in a divorce, emotions can often turn an already stressful situation into an unbearable one, especially when both parents want to spend equal time with their children following the divorce. The decision of who will get primary physical custody of the children and which parent receives visitation rights is no longer automatic.
  • Importance of Prenuptial Agreements in High Stakes Divorces
    When a high profile New York real estate mogul and his wife recently announced their divorce, the bitter battle played out in the media, becoming a real life “War of the Roses.” The marriage ended after 57 years, but the fight had just begun.
  • Fathers’ Rights in New Jersey
    Today’s modern family has come a long way. Gone are the days where mom was relegated only to raising kids and tending to the home.
  • Divorce, Termed Dissolution of Marriage, Is Best Handled by a Divorce Attorney or Family Lawyer
    While it is possible to handle one’s own divorce, it is usually wise to at least look into using an experienced Divorce attorney or Family Lawyer.
  • Common Marriage and Uncommon Divorces in Nevada
    Nevada is known as a place to go for a fairly quick divorce. The catch is, you need to be legally married in order to get a legal divorce. You may think you have a “common law” marriage, but if you reside in Nevada, you don’t. Divorce lawyers know only 11 states currently recognize common law marriages, and Nevada is not one of them.
  • What Are the Odds? Man Wins $80 Million While Going Through a Divorce in Michigan.
    An Oakland County Michigan husband won $80 Million and while the divorce case was pending, the arbitrator issued an interim order to divide the proceeds. But the arbitrator passed away before the divorce was final.
  • Post-Nup: The After-Marriage Agreement
    Many couples are familiar with prenuptial agreements. The recent trend of post-nups has a lot of couples wondering what is a post-nup?
  • Can Divorce Papers Be Served Through Facebook?
    When one spouse files for divorce, proper legal service of divorce papers can be complicated when the address of the other spouse is unknown. Newspaper legal notices are the traditional service alternative in cases where the defendant spouse can't be located. But a new trend is emerging in which courts are permitting legal service on hard-to-find spouses through their potentially much easier-to-find Facebook accounts. Could starting the divorce process now be only a Facebook message away?
  • Same-Sex Family Law Matters
    Many New Jersey LGBTQ couples consider 2013 to be a landmark year. In that year, a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was overturned, and New Jersey recognized the right for same-sex couples to marry.



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