The divorce process can be a difficult time for a couple. There are many changes that affect both spouses such as separate housing, financial adjustments, child custody, and child support. What’s more, both parents will need to help the children cope with the new living arrangements. Here is some information that will help you learn more about divorces:
Types of Divorce
In 2014, a report by the Center for Disease Control indicated that there were 813,862 divorces in the United States. Each state has its own statutes about divorce. The two types of divorces are no-fault divorce and fault divorce.
In a no-fault divorce, one party does not have to prove that the other party caused the divorce. The court will accept irreconcilable differences as a reason. Irreconcilable differences mean that the spouses no longer want to live together. And they want to end the marriage.
Today, only a few states grant fault divorces. In a fault divorce, a spouse must prove that the other spouse did something to cause the divorce. Some grounds for fault divorces are adultery, physical and mental abuse, and abandonment.
There are some defenses to fault divorces. Connivance alleges that the complaining spouse participated in the adulterous act. Condonation is when the spouse forgave the other spouse for the infidelity. Recrimination means that the complaining spouse committed the same type of conduct.
Starting a Divorce Proceeding
The complaining spouse’s attorney files a petition with the court. This legal document explains the reason for the divorce. The other spouse receives the petition and a summons, which requires an answer within a certain time. Spouses must exchange documents about assets, income, debt, and other divorce issues. The court calls this information discovery.
All states have their own statutes about property division. Courts use 2 rules to divide property. The rules are community property and equitable distribution. In community property states, the courts give each spouse an equal amount of the marital assets. Other states follow the equitable distribution rules. Courts use the equitable distribution rules to divide marital assets by property ownership, spouses’ earnings, and time-span of marriage.
Child Custody and Child Support
There are different types of child custody granted during divorce. The courts grant some parents sole or primary physical custody, which means that the children live the majority of the time with one parent. The other parent has visitation rights. Joint custody is when the courts grant both parents equal custody of the children.
The children may spend alternating weeks or months with each parent. There is more information to continue reading about child custody. During a divorce, the judge may require a parent to pay child support payments to the other parent with physical custody. Family court issues a child support order in accordance with state guidelines.
Divorce can be a stressful time for both spouses. The couple may have issues on property division, child custody, and child support. A divorce lawyer may be able to help you with these matters.