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Which State Has The Most Second Marriages, And What It Means For You

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 11.26.53 PMWhen it comes to getting married, most people only want to do it one time. They foresee a lifelong bond that can only be severed by death. However, in the state of Arkansas, the want and the reality are two different things. According to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the state is quite terrible at holding on to first marriages. It led the nation in the number of second marriages and third marriages.

What this indicates

When you look at the traditional age range for marriage, Arkansas residents tend to get married young. Furthermore, the state has one of the poorest average salaries in the U.S. So the cocktail of young marriage and high poverty leads to divorce early and often. Aside from not having the best rates at first marriage, Arkansas residents also tend to stumble at second marriage, since they lead in the third marriage department as well.

What does this mean to you if you plan on getting married in Arkansas or anywhere else for that matter?

It means that age, experience, and income all play major roles in whether a marriage succeeds or not. It also means that there are cultural realities you should be mindful of before following suit because “all my friends are getting married, so I should to” poisons your thinking.

Statistics shouldn’t dictate every decision that you make when it comes to marriage or life in general, but you should be mindful of their effects. They show trends, and if you have any doubts whatsoever — even if they’re far-recessed doubts — it could be a good idea to bring them back to the front and ask yourself the following questions:

1. Why do I really want to get married?

2. What is it about this person that makes me want to stay with them for the rest of my life?

3. Am I feeling any external pressure to make this decision?

4. What sets my situation apart from every other situation where my peers got a divorce?

If you’re brutally honest with yourself about the answers to each of these questions and still want to get married, then have at it. But don’t go into it blindly without first listening to the statistics. Good luck!

How To Buy A House And Not Get Divorced

Buying a house is one of the most stressful events in the lives of most Americans. It goes right up there with moving, marriage, death, and, yes, divorce, as we’ve seen at our online divorce review site over the years. Unless you have the money to pay for the house outright and not go through the loan process, then you’re going to get haggled and dumped on from so many different directions that it can cause a severe strain on your relationship.

The first time I bought a house when I was married, it ended in divorce. The struggle of holding our jobs together, packing boxes, getting an acceptance, and dotting all the financial i’s pushed us in opposite directions that we were too immature to recover from. We’d married young and weren’t prepared, and while the house itself wasn’t directly to blame for us getting divorced, it was certainly a massive trigger.

Fast forward 12 years and I’ve recently bought another house. Even though it’s still a miserable process, the woman I am with now was more ready for the task and so was I. Instead of crumbling under the pressure, we looked at the process as a team effort. We did this by:

Not expecting one of us to handle everything. Throughout the process, she’s asked me what I needed help on and she’s been reliable enough that I don’t have to second-guess her.

Understanding that sacrifices have to be made. We’re both not naive enough to think that because we didn’t get to spend as much quality time together, that in some way meant our marriage was suffering. Home buying is stressful, especially when you have to sandwich it in between taking care of a child, getting your work done, packing, and keeping a clean house.

Making a point to stay positive. Even though you can sometimes feel like giving up throughout the home buying process, it’s important to nip any negativity in the bud, because said negativity can linger long after the closing date, thus infecting your marriage. Just try to remember throughout this or any stressful process that “this too shall pass,” and it’s up to you both how it passes. We chose to think about how the furniture would be arranged, what we would do with that spare room, and which piece of furniture we would buy first once our account was built back up.

If you and your spouse have split for any reason — the stress of home buying, infidelity, irreconcilable differences — and you want out, then we recommend checking out our online divorce reviews for the best attorney referral and DIY forms services on the web. Good luck!

Divorce and the Military: What You Need to Know


We constantly look with respect towards our military personnel. Some of these brave men and women sacrifice everything to protect the very rights and freedoms we hold dear in this great nation. We often forget that after, before, and during their active duty, these men and women also juggle personal lives. Relationships, finances, and happiness are not put on hold while they serve our country.

There are also many factions of the military, having a family while being an active member or stationed somewhere can be a strain on one’s life. Being in a faction of the military adds extra rules and restrictions to a person’s life. When it comes to divorce in the military there may be some stipulations different from regular citizenship. Knowing your situation and how the divorce process pertains to it will help ease this stressful process.

Residency Requirements and the USFSPA

Legally speaking, divorce applies the same way it does to any other non-military citizen. However, when it comes to residency issues when applying for divorce, many states will relax some of the residency requirements and stipulations allowing for active military personnel that are stationed around the country and remote places to file for a divorce in the place they are stationed.

Besides knowing the divorce process, military couples should understand and be knowledgeable about the United Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). This s a federal stature implemented for military personal that is a guide for potential divorce couples that have either one, or both, members in the military. It says that the divorcing spouses should look to accept the state’s specific divorce rulings and laws on specific issues in the dissolution of a marriage. Mainly child support, spousal support, and military/retirement pension plans. One important USFSPA stature is that, while states have always viewed retirement and pension plans as like any other marital asset, the USFSPA allows states to classify military retirement pay as property instead of income.

Pensions and Retirement: How Military Benefits are Handled in Divorce

Retirement payments through the military are paid directly through the Defense Accounting and Finance Service. For an ex-spouse to be eligible to receive retirement payments, the couple must have been married 10 years combined with an overlapping 10 years of military service. For example, if a couple have been married 14 years and 8 of those years either of the spousal parties have served in the military, then the ex-spouse would not be eligible to receive retirement payments.

Another situation to watch for is how different states view the amount of time a marriage has been deemed to last. Depending on the states view of when the dissolution of a marriage happened, it may change the length of official time your marriage has lasted for and, consequently, could possibly change what benefits you or your spouse are eligible for. However, not being eligible for direct payment as an ex-spouse does not necessarily mean you may not be entitled to a portion. Throughout the divorce proceedings, an agreement can be reached by the divorcing parties to divide a retirement/pension. Usually the awarding of retirement military pay may be in addition to child support or spousal support.

No matter the external situation in a couple’s life, divorce can cause major upheaval. With so many specific laws pertaining to where you are and how long you have been married, it is important to know the rules and regulations that may influence your divorce. At MyDivorceDocuments, we can provide insightful information to help you understand exactly what challenges, legal or otherwise you could possibly face throughout the divorce process. Visit today and arm yourself with the knowledge that can lessen your stress about going through the divorce process.

Montana Divorce Law: the Declaration of Invalidity

A declaration of invalidity is used in family law to declare a marriage void, essentially declaring that the marriage lacks an element required for a legal union. Montana Divorce Law allows that a marriage may be declared invalid if specific circumstances concerning the marriage are shown to exist. These circumstances must be proven in a court of law. As a general rule, a marriage can be declared invalid if the circumstances of the consent to enter a marriage are shown to be lacking. A Montana court can also declare a marriage to be invalid if the marriage is prohibited by law.

Divorce Law as it Relates in Montana

Law 40-1-402 under the Family Law Statute in the state of Montana, clearly outlines the specifics in order to obtain a court to sign off on a declaration of invalidity in a marriage. The written decree, goes into all of the possible ways in which this invalidity must be shown and thus will be granted by the courts. There are over 16 stipulations in which a couple qualifies, however, they all have sub sections that weed out any couples who do not. Invalidity is not as common as a common grounds divorce, due to these small minute details.

Stipulations in a Nutshell

Of these multiple rules and small addendum’s, they can be comprised under a few easy to read categories, as such.
If one party to a marriage lacks consent, or lacks the ability to consent to the marriage at the time that the marriage occurred, a court may declare a marriage invalid. A person may lack the ability to consent to a marriage because of mental incapacity or illness or if the person is under the influence of an incapacitating substances at the time of the marriage. Once again, proof of this must be had, otherwise the courts will not consent to the invalidity.

A person also lacks consent if he or she was induced to enter into a marriage by force or duress or by fraud. If a person lacks the physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse, and at the time that the marriage was entered into, the other party did not know of the incapacity, the marriage may also be declared invalid.

The Marriage of Minors

If a person is under 16 years of age, or if a person was 16 or 17 years of age and that person did not have the consent of the party’s parents or the approval of a district court judge the appropriate consent to bind a person to marriage is also lacking.

A marriage is prohibited under Montana law if:

  • One of the parties is presently married to someone else;
  • The parties are brother and a sister, or otherwise related by the half or the whole blood, or the parties are first cousins;
  • The parties are related as an uncle and a niece or between an aunt and a nephew; or,
  • The marriage is between persons of the same sex.

Always be sure that when you are filing for invalidity of a marriage, particularly in the state of Montana, you know all of the criteria to qualify. Not doing so can lead to unnecessary fees and filing of paperwork that isn’t needed. Be informed and be prepared.

Common Divorce Law Terms Defined


Properly understanding and becoming knowledgeable in anything takes time. Research, studying and fully immersing oneself into something is the only way to truly pick up all the relevant information needed to know enough on anything. Divorce is no different. Attorneys who specialize in family law have studied for years to become as well informed on the subject as they are. Filing for divorce can be an emotionally trying event and process in general. However, going into it, knowing some of the basics is a much better way to enter, than going in and not knowing anything about anything. There are terms, laws, details and specific stipulations that are unique to each individual state. Some courts rule differently on the same issues due to this. Knowing some of the lingo and the processes for some of the most common occurrences in Family Law is a good way to get filled in and begin to understand just how divorce works. So, here are a few terms explained and dissected to help you along the way.

Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
This is a pleading document, filed with the court that initiates the divorce process. The person filing the Petition is called the Petitioner and they are the ones who are asking the court to dissolve their marriage or to legally sign off on the divorce requested.This petition must be filed to get the divorce process started. Without this form, no filing can begin, this is single-handedly the most important document in the process.

Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA)
This document, commonly known as the MSA , is the end goal of every divorce.  It is a contract entered into between the parties in question in the divorce filing.  It’s purpose is to draw specific guidelines between both parties as to how all of the community and separate assets and debts will be divided amongst them. It also addresses alimony if this is necessary, this varies on a case to case basis. The Marital Settlement Agreement is usually adopted as an order of the court by entry of the Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, which means that it can be enforced not only as a contract, but as a court order. In the event that the parties cannot agree on the terms of the MSA, the case will be set for trial by the courts. In cases such as this, assets and the like are divided up as the courts see fit, and sometimes both parties do not come away with property that they had hoped or expected to. This is another reason why the MSA is beneficial.

Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage
This document is filed at the end of the divorce process; this is essentially the closing of the book, whereas the petition for dissolution is the opening. It is an order entered by the court granting the Petitioner a divorce from the Respondent. The final decree generally describes each party’s rights and responsibilities after the divorce with respect to property, debts and custody of any children. It essentially maps out absolutely everything for both parties, wiping out any type of discrepancies, concerns or anything of that nature. The details of those rights and responsibilities are typically laid out in an MSA or Parenting Plan, which the Final Decree incorporates by reference and adopts as an order of the court.

These terms and definitions should help you along the way. Getting to know the law is far from an easy process, however, learning small pieces of information such as these can really help you as you go through the process. It’s your duty to yourself to fully understand just what is happening in the entire filing process. Legal representation will be there to help you along the way should you opt for it, but it will do nothing but bolster your side of the case if you know the lay of the land.

Divorce Law Explained: the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act


Many spouses seeking a divorce have a multitude of questions concerning paperwork, lawyers, fees and a laundry list of other things. When children are involved in the mix, the amount of questions and concerns between spouses increases tenfold. Each state has standard guidelines, rules and stipulations concerning custody and child support. However, when it comes to the matter of children and child support when parents are in different states, the rules change a little. There are a number of different laws and addendum’s that have been put in place to ensure that the rights of the children in these cases are not overlooked.

Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
The UIFSA was put into place to limit the jurisdiction that can properly establish and modify child support orders and address the enforcement of child support obligations within the United States.The act provides a new framework for states to use in collecting child support where the child and the parent reside in different states. It made it easier for state courts to exercise jurisdiction in establishing and collecting child support.

Under the legal definition of the act, support is broad enough to include child support, spousal support, health care, and related costs and attorney fees. More significant, the Act refers to a “tribunal” rather than a court, because its provisions apply to any administrative agency that has the power to establish and enforce child support orders. Many states have child support enforcement agencies with these powers. Each state’s’ Family Law Court will decide who is to rule on matters such as these.

Statewide Implementation

In cases where more than one state is involved in the establishing, enforcing or modifying a child or spousal support order, the Act is implemented to determine the jurisdiction and power of the courts in the each of the states. The Act also establishes which state’s law will be applied in proceedings under the Act. The Act establishes rules requiring every state to defer to child support orders entered by the state courts of the child’s home state.

The Act also provides various direct interstate enforcement mechanisms. This means that, it allows a caretaker parent to have an order mailed to the employer of the obligated parent, which will require that employer to withhold pay for the benefit of the child. Furthermore, it allows the caretaker parent to have an order mailed to an out-of-state court to get the other state to enforce the order. This is only done in severe cases or cases where a parent has failed to pay support for a lengthy period of time.

Child custody and child support laws are some of the strictest and highly enforced. When divorce proceedings take place, these are usually the issues that are highly debated amongst parents. The separation of spouses can sometimes come with an out of state move, for whatever reason. This Act ensures that any child in this circumstance, is protected. The best interest of the child is the priority of the court, no matter which state.

Weird but True Divorce Stories from around the Web


Love can make people crazy; the world provides us many examples. Divorce however can induce behaviors that go beyond the scope of any sense of normal rational thinking. Even though it is the process of breaking up a bad or fruitless marriage people getting divorce sometimes feel to go out with a bang instead of agreeing this was a mistake and parting ways. The tug and war within relationships, even those entering the divorce process, excuse me, especially going through the divorce process can provide some hilariously disastrous results. If you’re going through a divorce or having a rough time processing the end of your marriage take a look at some of these extreme examples when keeping it real at the of the divorce process goes wrong.

Kid-ney or not kid-ney

We’ve all heard of returning wedding rings, or the splitting of assets and other such positions when divorces arise in couples. Here’s that scenario with a slightly organ-ic twist. A long island surgeon donated a kidney to his wife in 2001 which saved her life. After being embroiled in a bitter divorce for 4 years, part of his settlement was that he either wanted his kidney back from his wife or be handsomely compensated for it.  A separation over custody of body parts, that’s a new one. In his defense, the wife did admit to having an affair.

Mommy dearest

Being tight with your family is always a good thing. It’s always nice when you’re close to your parents, even as you get older, move out and attempt to start a family of your own. However there is a line that you generally don’t cross. In the realm of “What in the world were they thinking” marriage moments, an Italian groom decided he wasn’t ready to part with his dear mother yet, so he did what any normal person would do and brought her with him on his honeymoon with his new wife. Needles to say the wife filed for divorce shortly after citing “excessive emotional attachment.” In the man’s defense he claimed he couldn’t leave his mother alone for “health reasons.” But for guys, as a general rule, leave your mom at home when you’re going on your honeymoon, just to be safe.

Bird Chatter

Just when you think no one is listening in. A woman in China filed for divorce after suspecting and then getting confirmation that her husband was having an affair. The odd part is how she ultimately was convinced. The couple owned a pet Mynah bird, after some time she kept hearing the bird say things like “divorce” “I love you” and “be patient.” She also claimed the bird become increasingly talkative whenever the phone rang. Just goes to show you that you can’t always trust your pets with secrets.

Every relationship, failing or not has a different dynamic. Some are just taken to more extreme places then others. Reality can sometimes surprise us in its bizarreness.

Divorce can be no laughing matter to most people going through it. Crazy divorce stories aside, there are many different divorce laws created for divorce proceedings. In the United States each state has separate rules and stipulations involving the divorce process. Knowing the possibilities and preparing the future can help alleviate some of the stress that you might be going through. To learn about the laws in your state, or to begin your divorce process online, visit

Can Divorce Be a Private Affair?


For the rich and famous, being in the public eye, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week is normal. However, we mustn’t forget they are still people too. They go through the same trials and tribulations as anyone else that we may know. Their issues are just magnified because of the lens that they can never escape. So, is it fair that their lives are publicized for the world to see? What, under the law is to remain private? When divorce is thrown into this mix, its safe to say that nobody wants to air their dirty laundry to the world, famous or otherwise. So is it even a possibility for divorce filings to remain out of the public eye, for anyone?

Divorce Behind Closed Doors
Keeping divorce information private is something that in most cases, both spouses and lawyers would like to keep from being plastered on the front page of the local newspaper. The Good news is this is very much a possibility. Court records can be sealed and divorce documents can remain private. However, unless a juvenile case is the focal point of any filing, it is impossible to seal an entire judgment. This means that no matter what, reports will be filed and the majority of those are public record.

There are different laws in different states in terms of allowances of what and what cannot be filed in terms of a judgment pertaining to divorce. One way to keep judgments private is by going to “private judges.” To clarify, through arbitration and divorce mediation, orders are made by the arbitrators or mediators and these orders reference certain divorce related documents. It takes some effort if both parties want things private but as soon as one says no, it’s public.

Child Custody & Privacy
Regarding child custody and support issues, if both spouses cannot decide on an agreement and sign off on a legally binding contract saying as such, then they would need to go to a courtroom to have a judge decide the outcome of the issue. This would in turn, decrease the likelihood it would remain private. Typically, when there is a child involved, both parties usually want to keep things private, as this is in the best interest of the child.  When this is the motivating factor, it is more likely both parties will work together to achieve that.

Keeping divorce a private affair can be hard, but it also can be done. When small children, assets, property and anything of a personal nature are involved, many people want to keep the decisions being made to one another and handle it in house. Civil and private divorces are usually the most successful and  offer the most hassle free method of filing  for divorce.

Technology: Changing Family Law Forever

Technology rules the world, plain and simple. Technology has its hand in everything in today’s day and age. It was only a matter of time before new laws were drawn up and integrated into the new and rapid growth of electronics and technology in the world. Divorce rates continue to grow in the U.S, just as the laws do. So it should be no surprise that new

77 Year-Old Marriage Ends


In a time where marriage is thought to have a 50% chance of ending in divorce, we often look to our grandparents’ generation for inspiration. Often asking the question of “How did they stay together?” or “What was different about those eras?” we find ourselves trying to figure out some sort of secret formula to make relationships and marriage work.

In truth there is no magic, the magic is a myth; people fall in love for different reasons, meet under different circumstances, and mesh together over many different facets of life that combine their personality traits and the environment in which they traverse together in. Sometimes someone can tell right away if someone is a match, and sometimes it takes decades for spouses to come to the conclusion that maybe this just isn’t working.

Age of the Absurd

In an age where celebrity marriages last a week, pet custody battles range up to thousands of dollars, and marriage is increasingly marginalized in society, comes a story that may be sad to some. But in truth, it’s just another example of what makes a marriage successfully, and that, no matter the situation, age, or how much you get along with your spouse, the truth is always more important than any other choice.

In 2012 we have seen our share of celebrity divorces dominate the news. Game shows, reality programs, and everything in-between have shown us the stark reality of just how absurd some people can be. Those with any significant amount of logic understand the real world without cameras can even be more stressful than those propped up scenarios involving people that are made to think they are “important.”

An Exercise in Real World Truth

Going back to our grandparents’ generation, we can stand amazed at how their families were able to keep it together. That is why this story seems so familiar despite its first glance perception. In 2012 an Italian man wanted to get divorced from his wife. He claimed to have discovered letters between his wife and another man, and when confronting his wife she admitted to the affair but begged him to stay together. Nothing totally out of the ordinary there right? The twist is that the man is 99 years old. The wife is 96. They have been married for 77 years, and the affair took place nearly 60 years ago. Despite his wife’s pleadings for them to stick together in their marriage the man is moving ahead with the divorce. When the divorce papers go through they will become the oldest divorced couple on record. Opinions on this anomaly situation will vary from “Why would they get divorced now?” to “What difference does the affair make 60 years later?”

The truth is, as always, that the truth wins out. No matter the shape, form, or age of a marriage, the same rules apply. There was no special relationship glue in the 1950’s and this story proves it. People are human, and are hurt by deception. Even at age 99 and over, something happened 60 some odd years ago that broke the trust and hurt a spouse. The truth and communication in a relationship and marriage is always the most important facets in its eventual success.