Divorce, also referred to as marriage dissolution, is the termination of a marital contract and the reorganizing of legal responsibilities in the union. Filing a lawsuit for marriage dissolution can be a slippery slope in which the petitioner loses time and money if he or she is not careful. Here, then, are five common questions that estranged couples ask during divorce proceedings.
- Is divorce the same thing as an annulment or legal separation?
No, divorce is not the same as legal separation and annulment. An annulment deems a marriage void, which is nearly the equivalent of a couple not having exchanged vows in the first place. Legal separation occurs when a couple resides apart from one another while still holding to the matrimonial contract.
A divorce acknowledges that a couple is bound by the legal constraints of marriage but seeks to break the union. The act does not declare the vows null and void but rather relieves the two parties of their responsibilities to commit themselves to one another. The date of matrimony is still on file when a divorce takes place, and couples are in some instances still jointly responsible for debt incurred during their union.
- What is the difference between fault and no-fault divorce?
A fault divorce is a traditional means of marriage dissolution that places guilt on one of the parties involved. In past times, the spouse responsible for the divorce, either because of adultery or another reason, was required to pay alimony to the victimized lover.
While some regions still allow for fault divorce lawsuits, most states process no-fault marriage dissolution requests. Such petitions present the decision for divorce as a common choice in which neither party was responsible for the union’s demise. The majority of couples cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for the marriage dissolution without going into detail.
The party responsible for the union’s dissolution pays support in a fault divorce regardless of the victimized spouse’s income. In a no-fault divorce, alimony depends on the income of both parties and whether one spouse was primarily responsible for the care of the couple’s children. The courts also compare full-time employment with part-time wages and how many years the supported spouse has been supplementing his or her income with the other party’s higher earnings.
- What about child support?
The courts may determine the amount of financial assistance a parent must pay if the divorcing spouses cannot agree on their own. Child support is largely dependent on which partner has primary custody or with whom the children live if both parents retain joint guardianship. The courts weigh the needs of the children against the income of the spouse responsible for paying support to determine a fair amount.
Couples who cannot agree with child support on their own should seek counsel from an attorney. A divorce lawyer Peoria IL relies on may serve as a mediator to help the couple develop a plan before involving a judge.
- Can a spouse stop a divorce?
Preventing a fault divorce is possible. The accused partner only needs to prove his innocence for a judge to dismiss the case.
A no-fault divorce is unstoppable. In fact, a spouse disputing the idea of marital dissolution is itself an irreconcilable difference that justifies grounds for the union’s cessation.
You should never navigate the troubled waters of divorce alone. A skilled attorney can help you through the process of filing suit for marriage dissolution and defending yourself against financial disputes during proceedings that could threaten your quality of life.
If you have a question about divorce in Arizona, please call to speak to one of our experienced Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona divorce attorneys at (480)305-8300.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Smith & Weer, P.C. for their insight into divorce practice.
Hildebrand Law, PC
As seen on CBS news, ABC news, NBC news, and Fox News