What you Need to Know About Divorce Laws in the US?

Divorce is a legal process by which a marriage is terminated restoring the single status to both partners. The marriage is terminated by a judge or any other legal authority. The divorce laws vary in different states in the US.

A divorce case includes aspects such as:

  • Spousal support:

    Spousal support or alimony is the financial support provided to the spouse who lacks the financial means to take care of their basic needs. Although both spouses are eligible for spousal support, it is usually given by the husband to the wife.

  • Child custody:

    Child custody is granted to the parent who can provide a stable home environment to the child/children. All states have now made it mandatory for the parents to present a parenting plan for the child after divorce. Parents also have the option to reach a mutual agreement on custody and visitation. Alternatively, this can be contested in a court.

  • Child support:

    Child support is provided to the parent who has the custody of the child to meet the financial needs of the child. It is a part of the alimony. The spouse receiving the alimony must ensure that he/she claims child support specifically in the alimony.

  • Division of Debt:

    Each state has its specific laws for the distribution of debts and assets between the spouses after the divorce.

  • Distribution of wealth and assets:

    The wealth and assets are distributed in two ways-equitable distribution or community distribution. In community distribution, the wealth and assets are distributed equally between both spouses. On the other hand, in the case of equitable distribution, the wealth and assets are distributed fairly but may not be equally distributed.

Some years ago, for the dissolution of a marriage, the party filing the lawsuit had to prove some fault of the other like adultery, insanity, etc. However, now the laws have changed and a spouse can appeal for a divorce based on “irreconcilable differences.” Some states still require minimal proof of fault while others work on a no-fault basis.

In a fault divorce, the individual filing the divorce suit blames the other for marital misconduct as the reason for the dissolution of the marriage. The waiting period is shorter for a fault divorce in many states. In states that allow fault divorces the spouse who proves the fault usually gets a greater share of the property.

A no-fault divorce case is filed by stating the reason for the divorce. However, the reason must be recognized by the state. The reasons covered for no-fault divorce are incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, or irretrievably broken. In certain states, the couple is required to live separately for several months before they get the divorce.

Uncontested divorces are those cases in which the spouse accused does not fight the case but reaches an agreement. the terms of the divorce are mutually agreed on.

Another associated category is that of separation in which the spouses are required to stay separated from each other for a specific period before a divorce is granted.

The terms of a divorce are determined based on the prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Both parties may agree to the terms of the divorce if the court approves it.

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