Divorce, or dissolution of marriage, is a method of terminating a marriage between two individuals. As such, a divorce terminates the marital union and it gives each person the legal right to marry someone else. It also legally divides the couple’s assets and debts and determines the care and custody of their children. Each state addresses these issues differently.
All states require a spouse to be a resident of the state (often for at least six months and sometimes for as long as one year) before filing for a divorce there. Someone who files for divorce must offer proof that he has resided there for the required length of time. Proof usually consists of either a written or oral declaration that the party meets the residency or jurisdictional requirement. If you think that your spouse will file for divorce in another state, it is prudent that you retain an attorney and file first.
Rarely is a divorce settled in one court appearance, and if your spouse files elsewhere you could rack up a lot of traveling expenses. Also, any modifications to the divorce decree, including the property settlement agreement and arrangements for child custody and support must be filed in the original state. This could keep you traveling out of state.
Together with our clients, we create a plan and a budget to ensure that we have a mutual understanding of the expectations and risks associated with divorce or other family law issues.
The primary issues to be decided during a divorce are alimony or spousal support, division of marital assets, division of debts, child custody and visitation, and child support. When spouses agree, they can usually obtain a divorce quickly with an uncontested divorce.
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