Below are some of the divorces laws that may pertain to your divorce case. However, each U.S. state has individual divorce laws that may differ slightly from these basic laws. To stay informed about specific state laws and guidelines, please visit our State Guidelines page.
The petitioner must meet the state and county residency requirement before filing for divorce. Most state residency requirements dictate the petitioner must live in the state and county for about 60 days.
The grounds for divorce are the legal reasons for a divorce. There are no-fault and fault grounds for divorce in each U.S. state.
The most common no-fault grounds for divorce is:
Property distribution is the division of marital property between the two spouses. Marital property includes possession such as real estate, financial accounts, and other assets. The spouses may arrange the property distribution, but if they cannot agree the court will divide the property and assets in a fair manner.
Child custody arrangements can be created by parents, but if the parents cannot agree to an arrangement the courts are given the authority to settle the matter.
There are four types of child custody:
Child support arrangements can be settled and agreed to by the parents, but if the parents cannot reach an agreement the courts may make a ruling. Most states allow child support to be paid by wage garnishment. All U.S. states have individual methods of calculating child support.
Spousal support is a sum of money one spouse pays to the other. Spousal support is also called alimony or maintenance, and can be paid temporarily, as a lump sum, or over a set period of time. Each state has individual methods of calculating spousal support.
The venue is the state and county the divorce can be filed and processed in. In most U.S. states, a petitioner may file divorce papers in the petitioner’s or respondent’s county of residence.
Mediation is a method of conflict resolution in which a third party assists the spouses reach an agreement over the terms of their divorce. Either party may file a motion requesting mediation to settle their disputes prior to or during the divorce process.