Divorce Generally

Divorce Generally

A divorce is the termination of a marriage between two parties. It is ordered by a court after one spouse files a petition for divorce. After a divorce is finalized, both parties are free to remarry. They may even remarry one another. Approximately 40 percent of all marriages end in divorce.

Types of Divorces

There are different types of divorces, including contested and non-contested and fault and no-fault divorces. A contested divorce is one in which one spouse opposes the divorce proceedings. A non-contested divorce is one in which neither spouse opposes the divorce proceedings.

Most states only have no-fault divorces. In a no-fault divorce, neither side is required to prove that the other was guilty of an action that caused that a breakdown of the marriage. Some states do have fault based divorces. In those states, one spouse is required to prove grounds for divorce, including things such as adultery, cruelty, and desertion. With respect to dividing the parties’ property or determining support and custody, fault may be a factor that the court considers in making its determination.

Divorce Proceedings

After a case has been filed, the parties have numerous ways in which they may proceed in the action. The parties may opt to proceed in the regular judicial fashion by going through court proceedings, either with or without an attorney. Parties are not required to have an attorney for divorce proceedings. The parties may also opt to go to mediation or arbitration to resolve divorce issues. A lot of states are now requiring that the parties attend mediation as a part of the divorce proceedings.

What a Divorce Judgment Typically Entails

A divorce judgment is a statement that the marriage between the parties no longer exists. The judgment generally addresses issues concerning alimony, child custody, visitation issues, and child support. The judgment also addresses property division and division of other assets. The court retains jurisdiction over the divorce action for modification purposes that may arise some time after the divorce has been finalized.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.