If you and your spouse are not getting along and you think that your relationship may be heading towards divorce, then you may want to start looking at the laws and what the legal proceedings may entail. There may be some questions you may have about starting the divorce process. Keep reading to learn about a few.
Is Separation Necessary?
You may not know this, but legal and physical separations are different. A physical separation is simply when a husband and wife separate from one another and not longer live together. There is no formal agreement in this case between the husband and wife. A legal separation is when a formal legal agreement is arranged and filed with the court. This agreement outlines things like child support, visitation, and spousal support.
You do not need to legally separate from your spouse and some states do not actually recognize the separation. However, in some states, you can adopt the provisions in the legal separation paperwork and formalize them into a divorce.
The states that do not recognize separation include Mississippi, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas. While you may be ready to end your marriage or to think about a finalized divorce, there are some direct advantages to going through a legal separation first. You can retain tax benefits, stay on family insurance policies, and meet the threshold to receive SS benefits through your spouse. These benefits should often be considered, especially if you have children.
What Are Grounds For Divorce?
There typically needs to be a legal reason to file for divorce. However, you should understand that there is such a thing as a no-fault divorce. This means that neither spouse is to blame for the dissolution of the marriage. There are 17 states that allow for no-fault grounds for divorce. In fact, these states, that include Oregon, Minnesota, and Colorado do not allow you to claim a more traditional cause for the divorce, like adultery.
Things like irreconcilable differences, incompatibility, and temperament are a few no-fault causes for a divorce. If you want to go the no-fault route, then you will need to live away from your spouse for a period of time. The timeframe varies depending on the state you live in.
Fault divorces are ones granted on the grounds that one spouse caused the divorce based on their own actions. Abandonment, imprisonment, cruelty, and adultery are a few of the grounds to acquire a fault divorce. However, you cannot make claims without providing proof. Fault divorces are often quicker, but the accused party will have the ability to present their own evidence in court, so they may bring their own claim against you to prove that you were actually at fault.
What Is An Annulment?
You may have read some news stories or watched some celebrity gossip about how individuals can acquire a quick marriage dissolution through annulment. This is true, since annulments are basically court orders that completely void or nullify the marriage. In essence, it is a decree that the marriage was not valid in the first place and this never existed.
Annulments are in fact quick and relatively painless, but they are only granted on very specific grounds. Marriage length does not make a great deal of difference when it comes to annulment, so do not think that you can get out of a marriage through annulment if you have only been married for a short time.
Misrepresentation, fraud, and inability to consummate the marriage are some of the more common grounds for annulment. However, bigamy, incest, marriages involving minors, and the blood relationship between the couple are grounds too.
Since annulments are rare and only granted under special circumstances, they do not apply to most married couples. If you think that you do have grounds for an annulment, then you will need to provide substantial proof of your claim.