During a divorce, a husband and wife legally dissolve the marriage. After the divorce is final, the spouses are free to marry others if they choose. Read further to learn more about the requirements for and the complexities of divorce.
Divorce Residency Requirements
Every jurisdiction requires the petitioning spouse to be a state resident. Time requirements for the establishment of residency differ by location, but the average is from six months to one year. Consult a Divorce Lawyer in Port Orchard Wa for more information on state requirements.
Fault-Based vs. No-Fault Divorce
Every area has its own procedures for divorce, with most jurisdictions adopting a no-fault approach and others maintaining the old, fault-based system.
- During a no-fault divorce, the petitioning spouse is not required to prove wrongdoing or fault by either party. Some areas require spouses to declare that they can no longer get along, and in other areas, couples must live separately for a period before filing.
- During a fault-based divorce, the filing spouse must give a reason for the dissolution. Although fault rules vary, the most common reasons are cruelty, adultery, desertion, incarceration and a physical inability to engage in marital relations.
In many instances, a couple seeking a divorce can work out an equitable division of property and debt. In cases where the spouses cannot reach an agreement, the court must use state law to settle disputes. There are two different categories of state law on marital property division:
- Community property: In certain areas, all property acquired during the marriage is either owned jointly or separately. During divorce, property is typically divided evenly, with each spouse keeping their separate assets.
- Equitable distribution: In all other areas, earnings and assets are divided equitably during divorce. Courts consider each person’s financial situation when determining a fair division of property and debt.
Do Spouses Need a Divorce Lawyer?
The court process for divorce is often confusing, and it’s usually best to consult a divorce lawyer beforehand. A Divorce Lawyer in Port Orchard Wa can help spouses navigate the legal system efficiently, and they can answer any question the client may have.