What exactly is a divorce?
Divorce, by law, is the official end of a union by court order after an argument. You might hear court staff and attorneys call it a matrimony action when you’re in court. The individual who initiates the divorce is generally known as the plaintiff, and that the person who responds is known as the defendant.
The usual definition of what is a divorce will be different in different jurisdictions. In the state of New York, for example, the word “divorce” refers only to the legal termination of the union. The spouses aren’t forced to separate, they can live apart, or remain married, but they are not considered divorced. There is also no need for a judge to grant either party a summary of assets and liabilities during the divorce process.
the marital relationship before the divorce process can be commenced
Each jurisdiction is likely to have its own rules for what is required in the marital relationship before the divorce process can be commenced. In New York, for example, both parties need to have reasonable relationships with one another in order to be considered married. For example, if the relationship is considered “frivolous and inconsistent,” the party filing for divorce must be able to demonstrate that “a substantial and continuing relationship of love” has existed for at least six months between them and their spouse. In some cases, the party filing for divorce does not even need to prove that the marriage was irreparably broken. They simply have to show that the marital bond “has come to an end.”
Some jurisdictions also have rules about who receives which assets during a divorce proceeding. Typically, when one spouse has filed for divorce and a judge has approved the proceedings, they may allocate assets to each spouse according to their net incomes. The courts will attempt to distribute income so that each party has enough after dividing their current living expenses. However, in some jurisdictions, each spouse’s net income is also taken into account when calculating their spousal support obligations. The obligation to pay spousal support is also determined by each jurisdiction’s rules, although the support payments may be equal for both parties if they are able to demonstrate a genuine financial need for the payments.
the marriage has been dissolved due to a wrongful act or to apply the law
A divorce decree will detail exactly who gets to keep what, when the division takes place, and what happens to the property and assets accumulated during the marriage. The divorce decree may specify a divorce means, or it may assign each spouse a monetary value of property or assets. If the marriage has been dissolved due to a wrongful act or to apply the law of a particular country, divorce will occur according to the local law. If the couple remarries after the divorce, the new marriage will be considered a new marriage under the laws of the state where the marriage was performed.
In an uncontested divorce, the court will take justifiable steps to distribute the marital assets equally between the two parties. When there are children involved or when the value of the marital assets is an issue, the court will attempt to create an equitable distribution of the assets. When the parties agree on child custody or the division of the marital assets, they can enter into a marital settlement agreement. Once the agreement is accepted by both parties, a judge will issue a divorce decree and the agreement will be legally binding. An equitable distribution of marital assets is the most common result of an uncontested divorce.