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Filing For Divorce In USA – Family Law

Are you planning on getting divorced in the United States? You should know what you're up against before you start! The American divorce process is not easy, but it has many benefits and protections.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Get Divorced in America

In America, getting a divorce is easy. There are no requirements for getting a divorce with Family Law, and the woman does not need to prove that she was abused or that her husband broke the marriage. However, there are options available if you want to get divorced without the help of a lawyer. Suppose filing for divorce without a lawyer is too costly or difficult for you. In that case, plenty of lawyers will charge less than $500 and offer deals for “no-fee” divorces.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Divorce From Court

There are many ways for people to get divorced in the United States. Sometimes the easiest way is going through a court system. These can take anywhere from 3 months to over a year and involve filing pleadings, arguments, and responses. The quickest route would be easier said than done. At the same time, some people will opt for an uncontested divorce which won’t require anything more than a few signatures.

The Legal Steps of Getting a Divorce in America

In the United States, divorce can be carried out through a process called legal separation. Legal separation is a legal term for a situation in which one spouse, the one filing for divorce, lives apart from the other spouse, the one being sued for divorce, without fully breaking up with them. This can be a temporary arrangement until both spouses reach an agreement or until a judge decides that the spouses have lived separately and apart long enough to be considered divorced. If this happens, then the spouses are considered divorced by Family Law.

The Financial Effects of Getting a Divorce

Divorce is expensive. The financial effects of divorce include alimony, child support, and division of property, which can result in debt or a mortgage that’s twice as large. This can also lead to divorce when the breadwinner loses their job.

How Do I Get My Spousal Support Payments Back?

If you are in the process of divorcing and your spouse owes you spousal support, you must know how to get your money back. If your spouse has a retirement plan, then you can file for an order of garnishment to take out the money from their retirement account. Suppose there is no retirement plan, but they have other assets. In that case, you can file for an order of attachment, allowing a judge to freeze those assets until you are awarded spousal support.

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What Are the Legal Grounds for Divorce

The legal grounds for divorce vary from state to state. However, in the United States, there are only three reasons that a person can file for divorce. These are:

No-Fault Divorce

In the United States, divorce is considered a no-fault divorce. Suppose one person wants to end the marriage. In that case, they can without explaining why they are ending the relationship. In other words, there is no need for the person who wants out of the marriage to talk about their partner’s faults or about how much they want to leave them.

Fault-Based Divorce

The fault-based divorce allows the individual to be responsible for their own marital troubles and not blame their ex-spouse. Suppose the conditions in the marriage have changed. In that case, it is possible to request a permanent separation so that both parties can pursue their life goals without worrying about marriage.

Least-Fault Divorce

A least-fault divorce can be triggered when one of the spouses is at less serious fault, or they file a divorce against the other spouse. An application for a least-fault divorce is filed with the court, and if no one objects, the court will grant it.

Federal Laws Relating to Divorce

Since the 1980s, federal legislation impacting the rights and responsibilities of divorcing spouses has been passed into Family Law. In the 1980s, for instance, federal welfare reform mandated the development of child support guidelines in all 50 states. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) includes a clause for the division of qualified retirement accounts between divorcing spouses. The IRS set rules for excluding alimony as a taxable source of income. Alimony and child support obligations are not dischargeable in bankruptcy under federal law. COBRA enables a divorced spouse to obtain and keep health insurance coverage.

Child Support and Custody

Governments have a vested interest in preventing parental disputes from spilling over into Family Law courts in cases involving children. When parents legally separate or divorce, all states now require them to file a parenting plan or decide on child custody and visitation through a written agreement or a court hearing.

The spouse who is granted custody (or the spouse who has the more significant share of residence time in the case of joint custody) may be awarded assets to compensate for their higher child-care costs.


According to the US Census Bureau, approximately 42% of all individuals will marry, and 46% will divorce in the course of their lifetime. This article lists the legal proceedings one must take for filing a divorce.

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