Divorce (or the dissolution of marriage)

Topics: Divorce, Marriage, Family law Pages: 6 (1109 words) Published: June 21, 2013

Divorce (or the dissolution of marriage)
is the termination of a marital union,
the canceling of the legal duties and
responsibilities of marriage and the
dissolving of the bonds of matrimony
between a married couple. Divorce is
unlike annulment which declares the
marriage null and void. Divorce laws
vary considerably around the world, but
in most countries it requires the
sanction of a court or other authority in
a legal process. The legal process of
divorce may also involve issues of
alimony (spousal support), child
custody, child support, distribution of
property , and division of debt. In most
countries monogamy is required by law,
so divorce allows each former partner to
marry another; where polygyny is legal
but polyandry is not, divorce allows the
woman to marry a new husband.
Divorce can be a stressful experience
affecting finances, living arrangements,
household jobs, schedules and more. If
the family includes children, they may
be deeply affected. [1]
The only countries which do not allow
divorce are the Philippines (though
Muslims have the right to divorce) and
the Vatican City , an ecclesiastical
state, which has no procedure for
divorce. Countries that have relatively
recently allowed divorce are Italy (1970),
Portugal (1975), Spain (1981), Ireland
(1996) and Malta (2011).
"Divorcing one's parents" is a term
sometimes used to refer to emancipation
of minors .
Western law
The subject of divorce as a social
phenomenon is an important research
topic in sociology . In many developed
countries, divorce rates increased
markedly during the twentieth century.
[2] Among the nations in which divorce
has become commonplace are the United
States , [3] Canada, Australia , Germany ,
New Zealand , Scandinavia , and the
United Kingdom . [ citation needed ]
Though divorce laws vary between
jurisdictions, there are two basic
approaches to divorce: fault based and
no-fault based. However, even in some
jurisdictions that do not require a party
to claim fault of their partner, a court
may still take into account the behavior
of the parties when dividing property,
debts, evaluating custody, shared care
arrangements and support. In some
states and regions one spouse may be
forced to pay the attorney's fees of
another spouse. [4]
Laws vary as to the waiting period
before a divorce is effective. Also,
residency requirements vary. However,
issues of division of property are
typically determined by the law of the
jurisdiction in which the property is
located. [ citation needed]
Types of divorce
Despite this, in some countries (or states
of the United States), the courts will
seldom apply principles of fault, but
might willingly hold a party liable for a
breach of a fiduciary duty to his or her
spouse (for example, see Family Code
Sections 720 and 1100 of the California
Family Code).
In most jurisdictions, a divorce must be
certified (or ordered by a Judge) by a
court of law to come into effect. The
terms of the divorce are usually
determined by the courts, though they
may take into account prenuptial
agreements or post-nuptial agreements,
or simply ratify terms that the spouses
may have agreed to privately (this is not
true in the United States, where
agreements related to the marriage
typically have to be rendered in writing
to be enforceable). In absence of
agreement, a contested divorce may be
stressful to the spouses. Contested
divorces mean that one of several issues
are required to be heard by a judge at
trial level—this is more expensive, and
the parties will have to pay for a
lawyer's time and preparation. Less
adversarial approaches to divorce
settlements have recently emerged, such
as mediation and collaborative divorce
settlement, which negotiate mutually
acceptable resolution to conflicts. This
principle in the United States is called
'Alternative Dispute Resolution' and
continues to gain popularity.
In some other...
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