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

  • Divorce after 50
    Many couples over the age of 50 have growing concerns about divorce, both in terms of its prevalence in their lives among friends and family, as well as how to go through the process themselves. Divorce rates among couples over 50 have doubled over the past 25 years, and for couples over 65, rates have tripled.
  • Special Needs Children And Divorce
    The end of a marriage is exhausting and often requires considerable effort and planning to make sure a desirable outcome is achieved. This is even more true when custody issues must be resolved. If the child has special needs, the necessary planning for custody and child support can be more complex.
  • 5 Key Steps to Take when Divorce Is on the Horizon
    If you believe that a divorce may be your best option, it is important to take a few preliminary steps when preparing for the end of your marriage. Read on to learn more.
  • 4 Ways You Can Hurt Your Maryland Divorce Case
    Contrary to what some people may think, there are ways in which parting couples can actually hurt their divorce cases.
  • Retirement Benefits and Divorce
    The United States Supreme Court decided a case involving a military pension which highlights the importance of understanding the nature of retirement benefits in divorce cases.
  • Divorce as a Financial Transaction
    Divorce proceedings are full of various different transactions, and many persons take the events emotionally and with serious intent. However, when the relationship has ended, and everything else remains the same, a divorce may become nothing more than a financial transaction.
  • Difference between Legal and Physical Custody
    A parent is said to have physical custody when he or she has actual, physical custody of marital children on a day-to-day basis. In other words, the child and parent live together.
  • Relocation and Child Custody
    Today’s fluctuating job market ensures that people will move multiple times in their lives, but what happens when a couple is divorced with children and one parent wants or needs to move away from Maryland? These cases are complex and every case will have its own set of unique circumstances.
  • Financial Considerations for Divorce
    Anyone filing for a divorce should consider his or her financial situation. More couples are deciding to divorce at a late age instead of thinking about retirement. This makes the financial analysis more difficult, especially for women who have been out of the labor force.
  • Potential Child Custody Issues for Unmarried Fathers
    In New Jersey, unmarried parents have the same custody rights that married parents do. Child support, custody, and visitation are handled in the same manner that they are for married and divorcing parents. Despite this, there are certain challenges that can arise for parents seeking these rights, particularly fathers who are trying to gain custody rights.



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