Divorce Law Center

U.S. Divorce Law Center


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U.S. Divorce/Dissolution

Divorce law deals with the legal proceeding governed by state law that terminates a marriage relationship, requiring a petition, or complaint for divorce or dissolution by one of the parties. Once a divorce is final, parties to a divorce are free to remarry. Grounds for divorce vary by state statutes. Some states still require a minimal showing of fault, but no-fault divorce is now the rule, with some states allowing divorce based on fault and no-fault grounds. Only state courts have jurisdiction over divorces, so the petitioning or complaining party can only file in the state in which he/she is and has been a resident for a period of time. In most states the period from original filing for divorce, serving the petition on the other party and final judgment, or decree, takes several months to allow for a chance of reconciliation.

A fault divorce is one in which one party blames the other for the failure of the marriage by citing marital misconduct or other statutory cause for judicial termination. Fault divorces are most common where abuse is a factor. Abandonment, desertion, inability to engage in sexual intercourse, insanity, and imprisonment are other causes for fault divorces. In many states, the waiting period is shorter for fault divorces. In states that do allow fault divorces, the spouse who proves the other?s fault might receive a larger share of the marital property or more alimony.

No fault divorce is where neither spouse is required to prove fault or marital misconduct on the part of the other and one party must simply state a reason for the divorce that is recognized by the state, such as incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, or irretrievably broken. In some states, a couple must first live apart for several months before they can obtain a no-fault divorce. No Fault divorces are the most common type of divorce.

An uncontested divorce is a proceeding in which a person sued for divorce does not fight it and instead reaches an agreement with the spouse during the proceedings. In these cases, the terms of the divorce are agreed upon by both parties. Uncontested divorces are generally much more amicable and economical than other types of divorce.

The possible issues needed to be addressed in divorces include: division of property and payment of debts, child custody and support, maintenance (spousal support), child visitation and attorney's fees.

For purposes of distributing assets after a divorce, courts divide property under one of two basic schemes: community property or equitable distribution. In community property states both the husband and wife equally own all money earned by either one of them from the beginning of the marriage until the date of separation. In addition, all property acquired during the marriage with community money is deemed to be owned equally by both the wife and husband, regardless of who purchased it. Community property is generally divided equally between the spouses, while each spouse keeps his or her separate property. With equitable distribution, assets and earnings accumulated during marriage are divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. Visit Us at Google+ Copyright AdvocatesOffice.com

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