Important Aspects and Consequences of Divorce

Are you contemplating to end your marriage? If yes, you should know the fundamental concepts of divorce before finalizing a decision.

Residency Requirements for Divorce

First of all, it’s important to ensure that you meet the residency requirements of your state before filing a petition i.e. a formal written request for divorce; otherwise, you won’t be allowed to initiate the divorce process. Each state has its own residency laws.

The prime aspect of residency requirement laws is the length of time you have lived in the state where you want a divorce. Some states will allow you to file for a divorce without having to wait through the ‘Waiting Period’ if you are a resident of the state. Other states may require you to reside anywhere up to a year before proceeding with a divorce.

Grounds for Divorce

Divorce “grounds” refer to the legal reasons, which your request to the court to end your marriage is based on. Grounds can be discussed under two different categories – Fault-Based and No-Fault.

Fault-based ground requires the person, who wants to file a divorce, to prove that something wrong was done by his or her spouse and it was the reason why you want a divorce. Under the category, the typical grounds include adultery, extreme physical or mental cruelty and desertion. You won’t get multiple benefits by going with fault-based divorce filing. However, if the state where you live considers fault as a factor to determine division or alimony of marital property, it’s worth considering.

“Irreconcilable Difference” or “Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage” is the primary ground for no-fault divorce. These highlight a simple point that it’s no longer possible for you and your spouse to get along and there’s no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.

No-fault has become the path of choice in most divorce cases for several reasons. This is because, you are relieved of having to prove that your spouse committed something wrong and so less tension and anxiety are involved in the divorce process. The benefits of no-fault divorce can be best realized if you have children. When you don’t have to duck out fault, the divorce will proceed smoothly. Less arguing usually means lower legal fees.

Child Custody and Visitation

Child custody is often the bone of contention between the spouses in a divorce. At this point, it’s important to melt the myth that child custody is not ‘all or nothing’ proposition widely perceived. To decide visitation and custody, the judges always favor a decision in the best interests of the child. It usually means both parents’ active involvement in the child’s life.

The ideal outcome of a child custody case usually means “Joint Legal Custody”. Such an arrangement allows both parents to have a say in the making the most important decisions that have a huge impact on a child’s life, such as education, non-emergency medical treatment and religious teaching. On the other hand, ‘Sole Legal Custody’ allows only one parent to be the decision maker. However, that is often an exception these days.

Child Support after Divorce

Both parents have responsibility to financially support their children. All states have child support guidelines in place to determine the amount of money that must come from a parent for child support. The amount depends on multiple factors such as a parent’s income and how much time the parent will spend with the child. Financial support for children also includes other elements such as, the child’s medical needs (health insurance and medical expenses not covered in insurance policies).

You should talk to a Galveston Attorney to learn the basic concepts of divorce before filing a divorce.