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

  • Florida Income Deductions for Child Support: How Does It Work?
    When a court enters an order for child support, there are several ways in which the payments can be made. They can be made directly between the parties, as long as they agree and it's in the best interest of the children involved. If that is not the case, they can be sent through the SDU, which is a depository that receives and sends support payments.
  • Prenuptial and Antenuptial Agreements in Minnesota
    Retaining an experienced attorney is important part of negotiating, drafting and reviewing prenuptial contracts. Costly errors are not easily remedied, if they can be remedied at all.
  • Top 5 Custody Dispute Mistakes
    Children are the most delicate and emotionally charged element of a divorce. As such, many couples can struggle to hash out all of the issues regarding this matter and come to a compromise through the mediation process. Leaving them with no choice but to appear in front of a judge in search of a child custody order.
  • What Do I Need to Know About New Jersey Divorce Mediation
    The break-up of a marriage is a painful time for all involved. And the division of two intertwined lives can be complicated. It usually brings a myriad of issues to the forefront that need to be addressed before either party can move on fully. Some such issues include child custody and property ownership.
  • What Can I Do if My Spouse Is Not Paying Child Support?
    States are responsible for establishing laws surrounding the award, collection and enforcement of child support. Parents often contest child support matters, believing that the other parent is being unfair. There are several enforcement mechanisms that can be imposed when a parent does not pay child support.
  • Can a Parent Have Joint Custody and Still Be Required to Pay Child Support?
    Courts generally treat custody decisions and child support as two completely different considerations. For this reason and others, a parent who has joint custody may still be required to pay child support.
  • How Is the Amount of Child Support Determined?
    State laws determine how much child support is appropriate and ordered. Different states use different formulas to arrive at the proper amount of support.
  • Children’s Passports
    Who gets to hold my child’s passport when not traveling? Children’s PassportsThe Department of Homeland Security and the State Department have instituted certain policies and procedures for single parents travelling internationally with a child.
  • Social Security and Child Support
    Very often people hear “Social Security” and think they no longer have to pay child support. That’s not necessarily the case. Under the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, each type of social security benefit is considered differently.
  • Child Support: Financial Resources Considered Income
    When a couple divorces and there are children involved, determining child support is one of the most important issues that the couple must address.



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