Divorce Law

George Wellington
January 23, 2009 — 1,098 views  

Divorce refers to the legal dissolution of a marriage. Divorce law refers to the various rules and litigation that are related to terminating a marriage. Most states in the U.S. have different laws regarding divorce and when it may be granted. Some variables in these laws include residency requirements or reasons for the divorce.

There are a number of different types of divorce, including fault based, no-fault based, summary, uncontested, collaborative, and mediated. Almost any situation that results in a couple desiring a divorce will fall under one of these categories.

A fault based divorce used to be the only way to terminate a marriage. In this case, a divorce is only granted if one member of the couple qualifies as "at fault." If neither person can be shown to be at fault, the divorce is not granted, preventing the couple from legally remarrying. When these cases do succeed, claiming a person as at fault can affect the distribution of property in the settlement.

With a no-fault divorce, the termination does not require proof of fault to be shown. Reasons for this type of divorce include incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, or irremediable breakdown of the marriage. With the support of a court system, a non-initiating spouse may be divorced against his or her will in this case.

A summary, or simple, divorce is used in special cases when the couple meets certain eligibility requirements. These key factors include a short marriage of less than 5 years, no children, minimal property, and marital and personal properties are under a certain threshold. The most common type of divorce in the U.S. is an uncontested divorce. In this type, the two parties are able to come to an agreement regarding property, children, and other support issues. When the couple can present the case to the courts with a fair and equitable agreement, approval of the divorce is practically guaranteed. If an agreement is not reached, the court may be asked to split the marital property.

Collaborative divorce is a method that divorcing couples use to come to an agreement on divorce issues. In this case, the couple negotiates and agreed resolution with the help of an attorney trained in the collaborative divorce process. Each party is able to make his or her own decisions based on needs and interests, but with complete information and profession support. Many attorneys claim that the collaborative law can be less expensive than other methods, however, if an agreement is not reached, any information used during the process cannot be used in later legal proceedings. Divorce mediation is an alternative to traditional divorce proceedings. In these cases, a mediator facilitates discussion between the two parties by providing information and suggestions to help resolve difficulties. At the end of the mediation process, the parties should have formed a divorce agreement than can then be submitted to the court. Mediation can be a lot less expensive than traditional litigation, and parties seem to adhere more to mediated agreements rather than court orders.

Although there are a number of different reasons for a divorce to occur, a common factor that all settlements should have is a divorce lawyer. A layer will help those involved make financial and emotional decisions that are extremely important, such as dealing with child custody and property divisions. A lawyer with experience in the related field of Family Law would be a great asset. In addition, it is important to talk with a lawyer about his or her experience, the steps involved in the divorce process and what to expect from it, and the costs associated with the divorce process.

A divorce can be an extremely difficult time for all parties involved, including the couple that is making the decision to split and the families and friends the couple as well. With all the laws and complicated emotions and situations that can occur, finding a divorce lawyer who can offer organization and understanding can be a very valuable asset.

The information you obtain from this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

About the Author

A divorce attorney in Rochester MN at a local law firm can provide legal assistance related to divorce law in Minnesota.

George Wellington