Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Legal Divorce Cases


Divorce is a legal termination of a marriage according to court order. Legal divorce cases deals with all the legal issues that come up during the divorce proceedings. Other than death, divorce is the only way to end a marriage, as a marriage is one of the only contracts that cannot be simply dissolved by the agreement of both the parties. The issues that come up during the divorce proceedings are discussed below.

Definition

There are two kinds of divorce: fault and no-fault. Fault divorces are based on marital misconduct such as adultery or abuse. Fault divorces must be proved in the court. Once the person applying for divorce gives sufficient grounds for terminating the marriage, a divorce is granted.

In a no-fault divorce, neither of the spouses is required to prove misconduct. One spouse simply has to claim “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”. It’s often phrased as “irreconcilable differences”. A no-fault divorce is not an option in most of the states.

State law

As per legal divorce cases, the specifics of divorce law are governed by state law, not federal law. It varies to a great extent from state to state. Spouses can only file for divorce in the state in which they reside, and they should be resident of that particular state for a set amount of time, which again varies from state to state.

Legal aid

Free and low cost legal services are offered by legal aid organizations to people with low and moderate incomes. These non-profit organizations sometimes called as “legal aid societies” rely on the services of both paid and volunteer lawyers to assist people with common legal issues such as, criminal matters, evictions, consumer issues and divorce.

Filing the divorce

One must file a petition with the court in the county where either of the spouses resides, in order to initiate a divorce. Most of the states have some residency requirements that a person should fulfill before he/she could file the petition. The petition informs the court about various issues, such as the petitioner wish to get a divorce, on what grounds the petitioner is filing a divorce and also briefly tells the court what the petitioner is asking for in divorce. The petitioner should also file a summons which is then served on the respondent (the other spouse) to notify him/her about the filing of the petition.

Finalization

If both the spouses are able to reach an amicable agreement during the pre-trial phase, then the petitioner files the agreement with the court. On reaching an agreement the final hearing is waived off in some states, while the petitioner is still required to appear for a hearing in other states and present the agreement to the judge. If both the spouses are not able to reach an agreement then they both have to appear for the final hearing and give present evidence. Once the evidence is presented, the judge would rule on any contested issues.

The above issues are discussed in most of the contested legal divorce cases. Therefore, one should be aware of all the above legal points, if he/she is seeking a divorce.


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