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The Basics of Divorce Law



When a marriage is not working, sometime divorce is the best option. Divorce law varies from state to state. It specifies the process couples must go through in order to legally end their marriages.

This article will detail the basics of divorce law. If you have questions specific to your divorce case, consider reaching out to a divorce lawyer in your area.

Divorce Law Residency Requirements

Each state has its own set of residency requirements regarding divorce cases. These residency requirements specify how long an individual or an individual's spouse must have lived within the state in order to file for divorce in that state. Sometimes residency requirements also refer to whether the reason for the divorce took place within the state or outside the state.

If you would like to know more about the residency requirements in your state, contact divorce attorneys near you.

Divorce Grounds

When you file for divorce, you may be required to list the reason why you wish to divorce from your spouse. This reason is known as the grounds for divorce.

Each state has its own set of allowable grounds. Oftentimes, states will divide divorces into two types: No-fault and fault-based.

A no-fault divorce means that neither spouse blames the other for the breakdown of the marriage. Typically, the grounds for divorcing couples in a no-fault case is that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

A fault-based divorce means that one party blames the other for the breakdown of the marriage. The spouse alleging the wrongdoing must then present evidence to prove the claim. Examples of common fault-based grounds include adultery, incarceration, insanity, and drug or alcohol addiction.

Filing For Divorce

When you file for divorce, you will need to submit the necessary legal document to the proper court to initiate the case. This document is often called a petition for divorce or a divorce complaint.

The court that will handle your divorce will vary from region to region. If you do not know in which court to file your petition, talk to a divorce lawyer in your area.

After your petition is filed and you pay the required filing fee, your spouse will be served with a copy of the petition. He or she will then be given a chance to respond. Sometimes, if spouses are in agreement, have little shared property and have no children, the divorce can be finalized fairly quickly. Other times, the divorce process can last for a very long time.

Children And Divorce

A major part of many divorce proceedings is child custody. Child custody determines which parent has a legal right to make decisions for the child and with whom the child will live.

Custody decisions are based on the child's best interests. Sometimes custody rights are awarded to one parent. Other times they are awarded to both. If custody is awarded to only one parent, the court will usually force the non-custodial parent to pay child support.

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