The term divorce refers to
the dissolution or the legal end of a marriage. Each state has its
own requirements governing when a divorce may be granted, including
a residency requirement and grounds or a reason for the divorce.
There are both fault-based and no-fault based grounds for divorce.
These, too, vary from state to state; although "irreconcilable
differences" and "irretrievable breakdown" are common
no-fault grounds for divorce. The 50 states also vary with respect
to the division of the marital property, alimony, child custody
and visitation, and child support. Please read on to find a
accident lawyer, family divorce attorney or to learn more about a divorce
Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the ending of a marriage before
the death of either spouse.It can be contrasted with an annulment,
which is a declaration that a marriage is void, though the effects
of marriage may be recognized in such unions, such as spousal support
or alimony, child custody, child support, and distribution of property.
In many developed countries, divorce
rates increased markedly during the twentieth century. Among the
states in which divorce has become commonplace are the United States,
South Korea, and members of the European Union, with the exception
of Malta (where all civil marriages are for life, because civil
divorce is banned). In the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and
some other developed Commonwealth countries, this divorce boom developed
in the last half of the twentieth century. In addition, acceptance
of the single-parent family has resulted in many women deciding
to have children outside marriage, as there is little remaining
social stigma attached to unwed mothers in some societies. Japan
retains a markedly lower divorce rate, though it has increased in
recent years. The subject of divorce as a social phenomenon is an
important research topic in sociology.
A divorce must be certified
by a court of law, as a legal action is needed to dissolve the prior
legal act of marriage. The terms of the divorce are also determined
by the court, though they may take into account prenuptial agreements
or postnuptial agreements, or simply ratify terms that the spouses
have agreed on privately. Often, however, the spouses disagree about
the terms of the divorce, which can lead to stressful (and expensive)
litigation. A less adversarial approach to divorce settlements has
emerged in recent years, known as mediation, an attempt to negotiate
mutually acceptable resolution to conflicts.