Divorce is the legal process of officially termination of a legally binding marriage or civil union. Divorce generally involves the reorganizing or cancelling of the existing legal obligations and rights of a married couple, thereby legally dissolving the marital bonds of marriage under the stipulated legal rules and regulations of that state or country. Normally, in a typical divorce procedure, the divorce judge or court of law will request the parties to submit divorce papers. Once these papers are received by the court, they will be read and verified for their correctness before being filed on file in the appropriate manner under applicable laws and regulations.
While there are numerous reasons for divorce, the most common reasons cited in the documentation submitted to the court for divorce proceedings are as follows: abuse of the other spouse, irreconcilable differences, desertion of one of the spouses, serious financial problems, unreasonable behavior on the part of one of the participants, incapability to produce material benefits for the welfare of both parties, and failure of compliance with requirements concerning proper conduct and behavior as per laid down by the Code of Conduct. There are also a few other reasons for divorce that may not be mentioned in the official Reasons for Divorce. They are: serious illnesses requiring constant care; separation or divorce due to a serious and permanent medical condition; death of a spouse resulting from an accident or injury resulting in the death of that spouse; separation or divorce because of divorce or other serious circumstances. These reasons are documented in the official Divorce Reasons for reference purposes. However, each state has its own laws and regulations pertaining to divorce.
During the divorce process, it is always expected that the spouse who is the respondent (i.e., the party filing the divorce) will try to convince the court to get a divorce, and this can only be done with the help of proper legal counsel. This process is often referred to as litigation. Both parties are represented by their respective attorneys, except when there are uncontested divorce agreements between the spouses. During litigation, the spouses may have to face off against each other in court. During this time, the spouses have to work together in order to settle any legal issues that may arise during the course of the divorce process.
The process of obtaining an annulment differs from state to state. In some states, a legally separation is required for an annulment to be legalized. Although an annulment is not necessary for a divorce in most states, it is highly recommended that an annulment be considered if the divorcing couple want to preserve their legal rights or want to remarry. Many couples who want to retain their legal rights opt for a legal separation.
The final step of the divorce proceedings is the settlement involving the division of property, payment of alimony to each party, allocation of marital debts, partition of assets, custody and visitation rights of minor children, and any other major contributing factor. The major contributor to the settlement process is either party to the divorce. Each party usually requests a contribution based on the net income of the couple after all expenses have been taken into consideration. A court will usually award one of the following: joint legal, joint physical, sole physical, or sole mental health and financial.
It should be noted that, in most cases, the courts do not require a written agreement prior to divorce. This means that even if one spouse wants an annulment, he or she should still try to work out an agreement beforehand. This is because the divorce process is a lengthy one. Most individuals do not want to wait until they are too tired or psychologically drained to continue the divorce process.