Basic Requirements For A Divorce

Filing for a divorce isn't as simple as going to court and claiming you want to divorce your spouse. A divorce proceeding is complex and can take a long time, depending on the circumstances of the case. Therefore, it is crucial that you contact a divorce lawyer to help you through the legal process. Here are a few basic requirements for a divorce.

Residency Rules

You can get married in any state, even if you don't reside there, provided you follow the marriage license rules that apply to that state. However, the rules for divorce are a bit stricter. You should meet a state's residency requirements before filing for divorce. Many states require at least one of the spouses to have resided there for a specific duration before filing for divorce. 

However, in some cases, the residency requirement is conditional. This means it is longer or shorter based on circumstances like where the couple got married, whether both spouses reside in the state, and the events leading up to the marriage breakup. In most cases, the residency requirement means where you currently live. But in some states, it could mean your permanent home.

Grounds for Divorce

For the court to grant your divorce petition, you must list a legal reason for the divorce. There are two distinct divorce grounds: fault and no-fault. In every state, divorcing spouses can file a no-fault divorce. This means neither spouse has to be responsible for the breakup. The common no-fault grounds are incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, or separation. 

Therefore, the parties have marital challenges they cannot overcome, and there is no hope for reconciliation. With a no-fault divorce, no evidence or testimony is required to prove that one party is responsible for marital misconduct.

Fault divorces are available in a few states, and the requirements differ depending on your jurisdiction. The common grounds for fault-based divorces include alcohol/drug addiction, abandonment, neglect, or adultery.

Proof of Service

When filing for divorce, you must submit a copy of the paperwork to your spouse. You must also file a document referred to as "proof of service" with the court. The proof of service shows the court that you satisfy the statutory requirements for serving your spouse with divorce papers. The judge cannot hold divorce proceedings if you fail to serve the papers to your spouse and file the proof of service incorrectly.

Serving divorce papers is straightforward if your spouse agrees to the divorce and signs an acknowledgment of service. However, if your spouse doesn't want to go ahead with the divorce, the process can be a daunting task. Under these circumstances, hire a divorce lawyer who is experienced in serving documents to tricky parties.

Contact a divorce lawyer near you to learn more.

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