Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Is Divorce?

What Is Divorce

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding divorce. In basic terms, a divorce is an action sanctioned by law that ends the marital relationship between two parties. Sometimes known as a dissolution, it legally brings a marriage to a conclusion before either spouse dies.

According to Justia, “A divorce is a legal decree that ends a marriage before the death of either spouse. During a divorce proceeding, a court may resolve issues of child custody, division of assets, and spousal support or alimony. After a divorce becomes final, the parties are no longer legally bound to one another, and are free to remarry or enter into a domestic partnership with another person.”

Uncontested Divorces

This is the best choice if both parties are agreeable. The parties work alongside each other regarding the terms and file the appropriate court papers to solemnize the divorce proceeding. Most likely you will not be required to attend court and there will be no trial, no judge, no waste of time or money.

Contested Divorces

When an agreement cannot be reached because of there being too many disputed matters, a judge makes the final call when you proffer the issues to him or her in court. Information will be exchanged, and settlements will be negotiated. If no resolution can be reached, it will go to a court trial and it will be essential to speak with a lawyer to help you advance your case.  Get ready to spend money.

Collaborative Divorces

In these cases, both parties each hire legal representation and they work in active and mutual cooperation to try to settle the outstanding issues. Each party agrees to the 100% disclosure of information for negotiations and meets with one another with the purpose of obtaining agreeable terms.  Most collaborations can conclude within three to four group meetings.  If this fails, both parties will agree to use different legal representation if you go to trial to resolve your case.

No Fault Divorces

This is often known as divorce because of “irreconcilable differences.” – The genesis of this was the thought one of the parties may vacate the marriage and can do so independently of the other party.  Put another way, if one party wants a divorce, you cannot force them to remain married.

Default Divorces

When one party fails to respond to the divorce petition, the court may grant a divorce by default. For example, when one party cannot be located and takes no part in the legal proceedings eventual a default decree can be entered against the non-participating party.

Legal Separation

Overwhelmingly similar to a divorce, papers are filed with the court and a court will make outstanding decisions for both parties and allocate all assets and liabilities. When this has been completed, both parties are still married but separated from a legal standpoint, therefore abrogating responsibility for one another.  Many couples choose this option to maintain healthcare insurance for the other party post-separation.  At any time during a legal separation, either party can ‘convert’ the case to a marital dissolution.

Purpose And Process

So, a marriage can be ended, the parties and the court have to handle property division, issues of child custody, child support, alimony as well as the splitting of assets and debts. It is the presumption of state laws that each party is responsible for fifty percent of everything including debts. Property that is non-marital and meant for just one person will not be split during the divorce.

Marital Property

Unless otherwise shown all property acquired during marriage is considered to be marital community property – even if held in just the name of one party. Property brought into the marriage relationship is considered the same dependent on the duration of the marriage and the kind of property it may be. In certain circumstances, the court may attribute it to one party or the other. Courts have the aim of being fair to both sides and each party has the responsibility of fully disclosing all the relevant information so the court can make that determination to allocate the marital estate.

Spousal Support

Alimony, also known as spousal support may be ordered by the court in circumstances where the health and age of the parties as well as the marriage duration and living standards come into question. This is separate from child support. Spousal maintenance may last for only a few years or for a period with no end date. Should circumstances change for either party it may be further reviewed, or be terminated by the court.

The Attorney

Although a party may always represent themselves, if there are outstanding issues regarding a child, children, property, debts, assets, or alimony, it is incredibly wise to have the assistance of an attorney. Keep in mind an attorney can only represent one of the parties involved in the divorce or legal separation.

Source: Emily Doskow, Attorney. “The Different Kinds of Divorce.” Www.divorcenet.com, Nolo, 7 Apr. 2013, www.divorcenet.com/resources/divorce/the-different-kinds-divorce.htm.

Need a Family Lawyer in Scottsdale?

Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation. Our family lawyers can help with divorce litigation, collaborative divorcedivorce mediationchild custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

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