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

  • How Can I Get Divorced in One State When My Spouse Lives in Another State?
    Getting a divorce becomes more complicated when spouses no longer live in the same state. In some situations, a spouse has moved to another state right after the couple recently separated. In other cases, the spouses have continued separate lives in different states for several years. Even if spouses live in different states, they can still get divorced.
  • Can I Get a Divorce in One State if My Spouse Is in Another State?
    Yes, but the amount of relief that you can receive may be limited by the circumstances of your case. Courts may not be able to make valid decisions pertaining to certain aspects of the divorce, depending on the location of the subject matter and jurisdictional issues.
  • The Divorce Process: Decide or Have the Decision Made for You
    Decide or have the decision made for you. This phrase applies to pretty much everything in the area of family law. You canít make any decisions for anyone else, but you can decide how youíre going to approach these challenges. If you donít decide how youíre going to approach these difficulties, the decision will be made for you.
  • Surviving During the Holidays in a Divorce or Legal Separation
    In Illinois, there are parents with physical custody of the children, often referred to as residential custody, and there are non-residential custodial parents with visitation rights. In any divorce in which the parties are parents, often, divorce lawyers will tell you that the primary issue is often the division of visitation time with the kids. The most sought after parenting time is during the holidays when families are expected to be together and the kids are not in school.
  • What Are My Rights Under Community Property Distribution?
    While the majority of states require that assets be distributed in an equitable division upon divorce, community property states view all property that was accumulated during the marriage to be the equal property of both spouses.
  • Divorce in Texas
    When you are considering a divorce, much less going through the process, it can be the absolute most difficult time in your life. That is why it is so important to know what your options are and to come up with a plan based on the advice of an experienced attorney.
  • Business Valuation in Connecticut Divorce
    When a previously married couple files for divorce, their property must be equitably distributed between the former spouses. Usually, the courts will follow what is known as an equitable distribution model to ensure fairness to both parties.
  • New Illinois Maintenance Law
    In every Illinois divorce, the family law court decides whether one spouse must pay maintenance, commonly referred to as spousal support, to the other side.
  • Understanding the Routes to Different Child Custody Situations in California
    The Child Custody and Visitation Process in California. Divorcing parents in California control their own future when deciding child custody arrangements. That is if they are amicable and can come to an agreement.
  • What Property am I Entitled to in an Equitable Distribution State?
    Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin use a community property distribution scheme to divide marital property. Alaska recognizes the community property scheme if the spouses agree to the arrangement. All other states use equitable distribution.

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