The Post-Divorce-Parenting Glossary

Divorced-Parenting Term

Divorce Law

   How have divorce laws evolved over time?

   Statistics show divorce, in the United States, to be on the rise with roughly half of all marriages ending in divorce.  Divorce can be an extremely straining time both emotionally and financially for all those involved.  The emotional and financial turmoil can be exponentially worse when children are involved and a family is breaking apart.  Divorce laws have evolved in an attempt to intervene and provide clarity amongst the confusion of a dissolving marriage.

   Although providing more clarity over time, divorce laws implemented in one state may still not necessarily apply in another.  Sometimes states have similar divorce laws, particularly related to issues of alimony and spousal support, property division, and child custody. Divorce laws, however, may vary greatly when it comes to filing procedures, divorce grounds, child support, and residency requirements. If considering divorce, a supportive and competent divorce attorney can assist your understanding the divorce laws that pertain to your state.
   What are the types of divorce under the law?
    There are two types of divorce, under divorce laws – contested and uncontested. Contested divorces often involve much more conflict and strife since both parties are not able to reach agreement on the terms with either the divorce in itself or the conditions of the divorce. The parties will often have disagreement regarding the division assets, alimony, allocation of debts, and child custody. 
   However, state divorce laws detail guidelines and rules designed to resolve these matters. Less complicated, is an uncontested divorce where both parties reach agreement to the terms of the divorce and therefore, proceeds through the legal system quicker than a contested divorce. Due to the expeditious aspect of uncontested divorces, lawyers and judges tend to intervene and resolve marital disputes in an uncontested out-of-court settlement. 
   Unfortunately spouses are often not able or willing to agree or settle on certain aspects of the divorce. Divorce law, in such cases, may direct both parties to participate in mediation or counseling in an effort to decrease emotional tension and conflict in certain areas. Mediators and counselors can significantly increase the cost of a divorce as they are not necessarily funded by the state. divorce law, in some jurisdictions may suggest using an alternative dispute mechanism referred to as masters or magistrates. Basically, they are “junior judges” who take evidence and provide recommendations to a judge. A decision by a master or magistrate is final only after the judge signs off on it. This process can be costly as well. 
   When both parties are on amicable terms and able to agree to the conditions of the divorce it is the best opportunity for all those involved to move forward in the face of divorce.  See collaborative divorce.  Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Often divorce triggers emotional vulnerabilities and raw emotions that spouses have which translate into increased distrust toward one another. Such intense emotions often prevent a simple divorce settlement. Even though divorce law is designed to help in the resolution process, the laws are complicated and often fall short of being able to reduce conflict or tension between parties quarreling. Understanding divorce law and protecting your legal interests through this taxing time often requires the support of a competent divorce lawyer.  A qualified and competent divorce attorney can offer counsel regarding complex divorce law and other important financial and legal matters.
Divorce law - described
Divorce-lawyer-source, a quality resource for divorce terminology and concepts, provides an overview of how divorce law developed.


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