A divorce, also referred to as, the dissolution of a marriage is a court ordered conclusion of a previously legitimate marriage. If they wish to do so, each party will legally be able to remarry in the future once the dissolution of a marriage is final. The division of assets and property are also determined within the court ruling and can waiver in either party’s favor, but commonly consist of an equal split of the assets accumulated during marriage between the two parties involved. The division of assets and property can include items such as cars, homes, and businesses. Keep in mind that a divorce can encompass the division of debt as well. One such example is that of credit card debt. When both parties’ names are on a joint credit card, the debt may be divided between the two parties. Contrary to popular belief, most divorces do not have to go before a judge to separate assets or to negotiate the terms of the divorce. Usually, this process takes place in a meeting with the attorneys from both parties. Another option is that of mediation, which can also help avoid the possibility of court and/or dispute.

A no-fault divorce consists of a divorce where neither the wife nor the husband blames the other for their inability to hold the marriage together. All states offer no-fault divorce, yet, only a few states deem this type of divorce as an adequate procedure for the dissolution of marriage. Examples of no-fault divorce include those of irreconcilable differences, incompatibility, irretrievable breakdown, and/or prolonged separation. Not every state offers fault-based divorces. Some examples of fault-based grounds for divorce are those of physical cruelty, adultery, drug use, and desertion.

Other factors that may be included within a divorce or dissolution of marriage are those of child custody arrangements and child support/child maintenance. The criteria for these factors vary and the process can prove to be a complex, as well as emotional. Child custody determines the parent who is legally responsible and able to make decisions for the child. Child support, on the other hand, consists of periodic payments made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. These payments are to help pay for expenses of caring for a child or children. The majority of divorce cases involving children can be emotionally straining for the parents as well as the children. For this reasons the court gives custody to the party they believe will be the most fit as a custodial parent.

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