Divorce Law


There are two main types of divorce in the United States: absolute and limited. Absolute divorce, or “divorce a vinculo matrimonii”, requires that there be some kind of wrongdoing by one of the spouses. This wrongdoing must also be proven with evidence. If an absolute divorce is granted, then both parties legal status will revert to single. However, a limited divorce will not change the legal status of either party. A limited divorce, also called a separation decree, only means the parties will no longer cohabitate.

In some states there are couple other types of divorce that don’t fall into the two main types. These are conversion divorces and no-fault divorces. Under a conversion divorce, both parties are given a legal divorce after they have been legally separated for a set amount of time. No-fault divorces don’t require evidence of wrongdoing such as adultery, but the court must be able to find one of the following:

·       The relationship isn’t viable anymore

·       That there are differences between the parties that has broken down the marriage, and those differences are not able to be reconciled.

·       There is conflict of personalities that’s has killed the marital relationship, and that it can’t be reconciled in any way.

·       The marriage is broken with no hope of reviving it.

·       Some states permit conversion divorce. Conversion divorce transforms a legal separation into a legal divorce after both parties have been separated for a statutorily-prescribed period of time.

Dividing Property After a Divorce

At one time, courts were almost always likely to give the majority of assets to the party who brought in the most money to the household. Considering that women rarely worked outside of the home, unlike today, women were left with next to nothing. However, that has changed more recently. Even if the woman doesn’t work outside the home, their contribution to the household is taken into consideration.

There are two types of property that is looked at during property division proceedings: marital and separate. Any property that is acquired during the marriage, whether it was acquired by one or both, is considered marital property. Separate property are those things that one spouse had before the marriage, and hasn’t drastically changed in value during the marriage due to one or both spouses.

If you’re facing a divorce, you should take the time to find out what kind of divorces your state offers, and how each one works. Your state may or may not offer no-fault divorces.