Here’s a great article by Steve Raiser, a top rated NYC Dwi lawyer and NYC Personal injury lawyer. Divorce attorneys hear questions about divorce all the time, including what a divorce is. It’s a very simple concept. Divorce is the legal action between two married people to end their marriage as a legal contract. When a couple decides they no longer have an interest in remaining in their marriage, they separate. This is not a divorce. Separation might mean you’re no longer in a committed relationship, but it doesn’t mean you’re divorced. You’re legally married, which means many things for your financial and official status. Legally married couples are still obligated to one another, even if they no longer have a relationship. Divorce is the legal term used to describe the dissolution of a marriage. It’s when a couple goes to the court and files paperwork, signatures, and other documentation stating they no longer wish to be married.
There are several terms associated with divorce couples ask for clarification for. One is legal separation. It’s not the same as divorce, but it’s also not required in every state. A legal separation is similar to divorce, but it’s not the same concept as being divorced. Legal separation means a couple is officially separated according to the courts. This means a few things for the couple. It can mean several financial things, such as no further financial obligations for debts incurred by one party for the other. Some states require couples file for legal separation before divorce, but it means you’re in the process of being divorced.
A no-fault divorce is another common term many people hear when they’re discussing the dissolution of their marriage. This type of divorce is a very simple one. it means a couple needs no reason other than the statement of “Irreconcilable Differences” as a reason to end their marriage. While some people prefer to end their marriage for a bigger reason, this is a general term that often means nothing more than a couple just wants to go their separate ways. There might not be infidelity, lying, or fraud.
Filing for divorce when your marriage is over is not a difficult process, but it’s often a lengthy one. The laws are different in every county and state, but they’re all similar in the end. Some states require legal separation. Other states require you wait so many months after filing divorce paperwork before you can finalize the divorce. All states require you figure out how to divide any marital property you have incurred since being married, and before you were married.
Most every state requires you work things out on your own before you bring your case to court. Few courts are willing to hear custody or asset division cases by any couple filing for divorce until the couple can prove beyond a reasonable doubt they’ve done everything in their power to work these issues out on their own. Couples who cannot work this out on their own often seek mediation as a way of helping. This is not something a judge attends. Mediators are used to help clients work through their differences and come up with an agreement on all things in their marriage they wish to resolve.
Divorce is not mandatory for couples who want to end their marriage. You are free to go your separate ways and live you own life as long as you’d like without a divorce. However, it can mean financial responsibility for things you didn’t have anything to do with. In some cases, it means a father is listed on a birth certificate of a child not his own because he’s still married to the mother. You cannot remarry anyone without obtaining a divorce. It’s a criminal offense.
Divorce is a decision that many people come to after a lot of thought, but it’s not for everyone. Some couples file for divorce, and they end up working through their differences and continuing their marriage. Other couples divorce, and they end up back together later. Divorce is a legal obligation, but it’s not final until it’s finalized by a judge. Your family can make their own decisions regarding divorce, but it’s not something you have to do if you aren’t comfortable with it.