Divorce is the end of a marital relationship by court order and typically results in the separation of debt and assets between spouses. In most states with “no-fault” divorce statutes, both partners must file their divorce petitions together, and if they are married, the divorce is finalized when one spouse files first. In other states, the parties may decide to proceed with the divorce proceedings without filing a petition. Regardless of the state law, divorce requires court approval and begins a series of legal processes that will ultimately determine what, if any, property and debt are jointly owed by the spouses.
A divorce takes a lot of careful planning, especially when one or both parties are involved in a highly passionate marriage that has come to an end. Many factors go into the determination of whether or not a divorce will be accepted. If one party is seeking a divorce because of infidelity, there are two grounds for proceeding. One may be due to the conduct of the spouse’s lover(s), while the other may be grounded on the conduct of the wife (or husband) that brought the marriage to a screeching halt.
Each state has its own divorce rules. The most common grounds for divorce are adultery, desertion, cruelty, fraud, desertion, separation without consent for at least four years, or misconduct involving a spouse. Any of these grounds can be used as part of the basis for divorce. In some cases, only one of the spouses can file under the grounds given above; other cases require two people to file under the same grounds. In either case, courts will consider how likely a spouse is to live apart from the other and whether the other spouse is likely to remarry.
After a divorce request has been filed with the court, there will be a time in which the complaint and answer must be submitted. This is where the divorce petition is presented to the judge. The first document that the husband or wife must submit is a copy of the Complaint, which details the particulars of the charges against them. Next, they must also provide copies of documents that support the complaint, such as income tax statements, property appraisal reports, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, alimony payments and other records that pertain to the marriage. Finally, a copy of the complaint, together with accompanying proof of identity, will have to be supplied by the respondent.
There are different types of grounds, but the most common grounds for divorce are adultery, desertion, separation without consent for at least four years, separation without consent for at least two years and irreconcilable differences. Once all the necessary documents have been submitted, the judge will issue an order called a “writ of divorce.” This legal document will officially terminate the marriage and bind both parties to refrain from remarriage for a stipulated period of time. This is referred to as an “uncontested divorce,” since the respondent is not contesting the papers’ validity.
A divorce case can last for many years, especially if there are a number of children involved, as well as long-term spouses or extended family. If the plaintiff (plaintiff) does not appear in court and correct the forms (usually due to an error), the respondent may opt to move the case to a higher court. From there, a more detailed complaint can be filed.