Understand Divorce Laws

In the last 39 years, dramatic changes have been made in the laws surrounding divorce and the proceedings that follow in the United States. To understand divorce law you must understand the legalities of these changes. The changes made throughout this time have significantly altered how one may apply for a divorce and how divorce affects both partners and children. In order to apply for divorce or separation, it is very important to understand divorce law basics.

Each state in America has its own specific guidelines surrounding divorce and the International Divorce Attorney process involved – including the division of marital assets, property and children. Until 1970, divorce was globally viewed as social taboo, and discouraged and avoided by the standards of society. To understand divorce laws, you must be aware of the ways in which someone was found guilty in a divorce hearing. Courts in all 50 states only granted divorces on the basis of a marital fault. This could include, but was not limited to: adultery, abuse, mental and physical abuse, or some other form of wrongdoing. The hearing always awarded a loser and a winner based on who was seen to have performed the misconduct. If the husband was found guilty, he was punished with submission of a large portion of the marital assets to his wife, and/or loss of custody of his children. The opposite obviously applied if the wife was found guilty. Prior to 1970, it was viewed that the innocent spouse was rewarded by staying true to the vows of marriage and the guilty party punished for their wrongdoing.

Understanding divorce law is a difficult process, but the basics of which are easy to grasp. The system of divorce in the United States has changed dramatically since. In 1970, California was the first state to pass the no-fault divorce law in the United States. To understand divorce law, one must realize that this is a divorce where the termination of a marriage does not require any wrong doing by either party. No guilty or innocent verdict is given and neither party has to have committed serious marital misconduct for the divorce to proceed. For an exaggerated example, either party may be literally ‘unhappy’ in the relationship for the divorce to go ahead.

Another key step in understanding divorce laws is knowledge of the prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is where a contract is entered into by both parties prior to the wedding; including provision of division of marital assets should the marriage dissolve. In other words, it is an agreement between both husband and wife of the division of money, property and marital assets if the marriage ends. This stops either party taking large percentages of their spouse’s assets in the event of a divorce. This is a common occurrence in examples where one party may be significantly wealthy prior to marriage, and wants to protect their assets should the marriage end in divorce. The contract generally includes specific terms of asset division should one party engage in adultery, or commit significant marital sin.

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