Looking for Legal Advice for a Divorce or Separation?

Divorce and legal separations can often be complicated processes. However, if you take the time to prepare yourself, and get the right kind of legal help, you can reduce the chances of having a difficult experience turn into a traumatic one.

Things to consider in a Divorce or separation:

  • Family
  • Finances
  • Living Arrangements
  • Property Distribution
  • Wills and Testaments

There are 3 main ways to end a marriage or registered domestic partnership:


A divorce is the legal termination of a marriage through a legal proceeding in a court of law. Proceedings for divorce can only begin after a complaint or petition has been made by one of the spouses.

There are two types of divorce:

A fault divorce is a termination of a marriage based on some kind of misconduct. The misconduct has to be proved in court by the divorcing spouse. The court will then assess whether the misconduct amounts to sufficient grounds for the divorce.
In a no-fault divorce, neither party is required to prove fault. It is only necessary for one party to petition the divorce. They must simply state an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, or irreconcilable differences has occurred.

All states now have adopted some form of no-fault divorce.

Legal Separation

The difference between divorce and legal separation is that legal separations do not end with the termination of marital status by the court. The process for legal separation is the same as with divorces, such as dividing assets and debts. However, the marriage is still legally binding and the spouses would not be legally permitted to marry another person until a divorce had been obtained.

Possible Reasons to Choose a Legal separation:
  • Insurance Purposes
  • Financial Purposes
  • Religious Beliefs about Divorce
  • Immigration and Citizenship purposes


An annulment is what happens when a court determines that a marriage or domestic partnership was never actually legally valid. As a result of the marriage never being legal, an annulment retroactively negates the marriage or partnership as if it never happened in the first place.

Here are some of the reasons why a marriage may be annulled:
  • Incestuous
  • Bigamous
  • Illegal age at the time of marriage or domestic partnership
  • Existing marriage or domestic partnership
  • Unsound mind
  • Fraud
  • Force
  • Physical incapacity

An annulment can only be obtained by proving to a judge that one of these reasons is true in the case of your marriage. For this reason, an annulment is more complicated than a standard divorce case.

Legal Requirements

The following legal requirements are required to file for a divorce in the majority of the states:

  1. Residency: The petitioner must have lived in the state in which they are filing the divorce for at least 6 months prior to filing it. They must also have lived in the county in which it is filed for 3 months prior.
  2. Waiting Period: After filing for the divorce the petitioner and the respondent enter into a waiting period. This is usually 6 months, after which date both are legally allowed to remarry.
  3. Legal Grounds: Most states will legally grant a divorce for one of two reasons A) Irreconcilable differences and B) Incurable insanity. The first reason is the most common as it describes the general situation in which two people can no longer work out their troubles and disagreements in a civil manner.
  4. Jurisdictional Requirement: Similar to the residency requirement, filing for a divorce has to take place in the correct court. Usually, this court is the one located in the same county where either the husband or the wife has been living. This is the case only if they have been living there for a full three months prior to filing for the divorce.

Divorce Process in Brief

  1. Filing a petition
  2. Temporary Orders
    This is a financial factor that determines the responsibility for bill payments and child custody while the divorce is in process
  3. Service of Process
    The petitioner must prove that the divorce petition was delivered to the other party.
  4. Response
    The party who receives service of process will then need to file a response to the petition.
  5. Negotiation
    If the parties don't agree on all the issues, they will need to try to negotiate their differences.
  6. Trial
    Any issues the parties absolutely cannot resolve between themselves will have to be decided at a trial.
  7. Order of Dissolution
    The order of dissolution ends the marriage and spells out how the property and debts are to be divided, custody, support, and any other issues.

Divorce Law can cover a wide and complicated field of legislation. Anyone seeking to avoid unnecessary complications or anyone who has a complicated process to understand, legal advice is available.

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