Divorce Law – A Overview
American citizens are faced with one of the most challenging and complicated areas: divorce law. Divorce involves more than the separation of two spouses. It also involves the untangling and resolving of a lifetime’s worth of finances, living spaces, and relationships. Additionally, since marriages are sanctioned only by the states, and not the federal governments, divorce laws contain fifty different sets. This means that sometimes a divorce will involve wrangling with several of these sets.
Each partner is entitled to certain rights during a divorce. Most states are in favor of a no-fault divorce. One spouse may choose to divorce the other for the frequently-quoted “irreconcilable disagreements” reason. All states allow divorce in certain circumstances: infidelity and criminal behavior; any kind of abuse. Abuse can include both physical and mental abuse.
A divorce is usually easy to obtain, but it may be more difficult for the couple to reach the right decisions. When there are no children between the spouses and no property or other assets, it is easy to obtain a no-fault divorce. The simplicity of the divorce process changes when either spouse has a name on a deed or car title, children are born, one partner earns significant income, or both.
The state in whose divorce law the first divorce is filed is typically the one that will govern all subsequent divorce proceedings. Arbitration may be required in order to determine the right governing body if both parties file the divorce papers simultaneously in different states. Why is this important California’s law states that spouses must make a 50-50 split in community property. Nevada allows divorce for an equitable division. In California, the spouses will share the same amount of property. However, Nevada couples have an “equitable distribution” of property. This means that the spouse who earned more money is more likely to get more after the marriage is ended. Only Arizona and Idaho have community property divisions with a 50/50 ratio. All other states have equitable distribution laws.
The other common bug in the ointment is the child. In the first 20th-century, they were almost always gotten by the husband. However, after that time, almost all of them went to the wives. Nowadays, either the spouse or husband can claim primary custody. It is possible to have primary custody in different states and cases. If children are involved in the divorce proceedings and both parties want to retain primary custody, it’s essential to consult a lawyer. This crucial issue involves both your heart, and the future for your money.
Pensions and 401Ks are another topic of contention. Military personnel, up to last year kept their whole pensions, even though they were there for 18 out of 20 military years. (This law has since been modified). In most cases, pensions can be divided up according to a “qualified Domestic Relations Order” (QDRO), and then paid out to both spouses after the pension’s maturity date by the pension plan administrator. For pensions, you can expect the same division rules to apply as for community property.
As you can see, divorce law can quickly become complex. If your lives don’t get too complicated and you are both okay with the divorce, it’s fine to use a quick no fault divorce. If you are dealing with any other type of case, you will require a lawyer.