How To File For A Divorce
In the US, marriages end for a multitude of reasons, and petitioners must follow state and county laws when filing. The state where the petitioner lives takes jurisdiction over the case once the petitioner establishes residency. To start the proceedings, the petitioner has to file a motion and serve their spouse.
Establish the Grounds for the Divorce
The first step is to determine if the resident state is a no-fault state. Any state classified as no-fault prevents petitioners from using fault-based divorce grounds. The only option is irreconcilable differences.
States without the no-fault classification provide all divorce grounds. All fault-based grounds require the petitioner to present evidence of their allegations. For example, allegations of adultery require explicit evidence that shows the spouse had a sexual relationship with someone other than their spouse.
Marital Property Division
Community property laws consider all property gained during the marriage by either spouse to be marital property. States consider separate property as any property purchased prior to the marriage. Inheritances and gifts also fall under separate property laws. In community property states, the couple divides their marital property and assets only.
Equitable distribution laws require the couple to divide their marital property equally. The value of each award must be equal under the equitable distribution laws. Sometimes, the judge requires the sale of certain assets to achieve an equal split. Some circumstances require a financial payment from a spouse to balance the scales.
Child Custody and Support
Divorce and Child Custody laws outline how courts determine child custody in the jurisdictional state. Most states encourage joint custody, but all couples may set up their own child custody arrangements. If the couple cannot agree, the court determines who gets custody through a child custody hearing.
Child custody orders determine how child support is paid. Some states require both parents to pay child support if they have equal time with the child. Most states require the noncustodial parent to pay child support. The court calculates payments according to the standard percentage and the total number of children produced during the marriage.
Emergency Custody and Children at Risk
Emergency Guardianship arrangements enable a family member to step up and get emergency custody when a child is at risk. The circumstances require the parent or parents to pose a serious risk to the child.
In the US, the Divorce laws vary from one state to another and require petitioners to understand their rights under applicable laws. The grounds used when filing aren't the same in every state, and the right to alimony and equitable distribution of marital property could alter the outcome. Petitioners who want to learn more about filing can contact an attorney in their area now.