Home » Articles » Education » Family Law » Family Law: Divorce

Family Law: Divorce

July 27, 2012 729 No of hits
0
Family Law: Divorce

In a divorce the marriage between the parties is dissolved and those parties are restored to their status as single persons. This of course means they are free to remarry, are no longer entitled to inherit from the estates of one another (except by specific devise in a will), and no longer hold vested rights in in the future properties acquired by one another (dower and curtesy). Divorce, often referred to legally as dissolution of marriage, should be distinguished from annulment, which is a judicial determination that a marriage or the circumstances surrounding it render it invalid and a the effect of a decree of annulment is as if the parties were never married to begin with.

All divorces, at least in the United States, require some type of judicial proceeding and ultimately a court decree or judgment. Usually some period of physical separation between the parties is required, or at least a showing that they have ceased living together as man and wife or in a conjugal way. These required periods of separation may vary widely from state to state and may be extended where there are minor children born of the marriage. These are known as "cooling off" periods and are in line with public policy that divorce should be discouraged where married persons may merely be having a temporary disagreement, particularly where children are involved.

Most states have adopted a "no fault" divorce law, meaning that a court may grant a divorce where a marriage is "irretrievably broken" and there is no reasonable prospect of conciliation. Until the late 1960's and early to mid 1970's many states did require as a prerequisite to divorce a showing that one of the parties was guilty of some specified conduct incompatible with the marriage, i.e. adultery or physical or mental cruelty. These were known as "grounds" and such laws became disfavored as they tended to aggravate already disharmonious circumstances and caused many parties who simply wanted to be free of one another to engage in a fiction that these circumstances were present simply to satisfy the law. This would commonly require one or both parties to commit perjury.

The issues which must be addressed by a divorce court in addition to the question of dissolving the marriage itself are 1) the division of marital property and assignment of non marital property, if any, 2) the awarding of spousal support (alimony or maintenance), if any, and 3) issues regarding children, if any, including custody, visitation rights, and child support. Where parties are in agreement to a divorce and to the disposition of all these issues a divorce may be uncontested in which case it is usually unnecessary for the parties to appear for a formal court hearing and the case may be concluded by the filing of the written agreement and a sworn statement by one or both parties. On the other hand where parties are in disagreement about how questions of property, spousal support, and children should be resolved one or more court hearings become necessary and may be more or less protracted depending upon the size of the marital estate, the complexity of the parties finances, special problems concerning children and of course the extent to which the parties are actually in disagreement. More and more frequently in present day divorce cases family courts are encouraging or requiring that disputes over these issues be submitted to mediation prior to the court engaging in time consuming hearings

The term legal separation should be distinguished from both the period of physical separation required for some divorces and from a divorce itself. A legal separation is a substantially less common proceeding than a divorce but may be suitable where one or both parties desire a determination of their property rights and entitlement to support but do not want a dissolution of their union of marriage, sometimes for religious reasons. Generally, though, a court will grant a full divorce if one of the parties insists that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

Tags:   Family Law: Divorce   Family law   Divorce   Property division   Alimony   Child custody   Visitation   Child support   Dissolution of marriage   Annulment   Legal separation  

Group

Family Law: Divorce

Photo

Ni_271_192 Be the first to add photo

Discussion topics

Start new topic
1_s_ab45ca8ce8fb1beb
0 Comments

In a divorce the marriage between the parties is dissolved and those parties are restored to their status as single persons. This of course means they are free to remarry, are no longer entitled to inherit from the estates of one another (except by specific devise in a will), and no longer hold...

By: Richard Martine Created 76 months ago

Add New Comment

You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic! Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation. Thanks for dropping by!

Groups

Related Groups

Topic

Related Group Topics

  • Family Law: Divorce
    Family Law: Divorce
    By : Richard

    In a divorce the marriage between the parties is dissolved and those parties are restored to their status as single persons. This of course means they are free to remarry, are no...

    Read More »
  • Family Law
    Family Law
    By : Richard

    Family law refers to the broad spectrum of legal issues ranging from marriage to divorce and legal separation to child custody, visitation and support to paternity and adoption...

    Read More »
  • Family Law: Child Support
    Family Law: Child Support
    By : Richard

    Child support is the financial obligation to a child of a parent who is not otherwise providing day to day support to the child within his or her own household. The child support...

    Read More »

Album

Photo

Most Rated

Most Commented

Most Viewed

  • Healthcare Industry
    Healthcare Industry
    Healthcare Industry

    In 1995, total health care spending in the U.S. was just over $1 trillion. Fast forward to...

    Read More »
  • Dance
    Dance
    Dance

    Dance is a part of almost every society and culture in the world, and is believed to have been...

    Read More »
  • Email etiquette
    Email etiquette
    Email etiquette

    E-mail has revolutionized communication in our businesses and personal lives. But there is a ...

    Read More »