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Divorce is a legal act of ending a marriage. While the courts will be involved, your case will not follow the same proceedings as a civil or criminal suit. You will likely meet with a judge, but generally speaking there won’t be a jury, cross-examination of a witness, or other events you may have seen in a television show about lawyers. This is because most states have a “no fault” policy which means a court does not require one party to prove the other did something wrong. In other words, a verdict of“guilty” or “not guilty” won’t be handed out by a judge at the end of the case.
Before a divorce can be filled, the majority of states have legal requirements each spouse needs to abide by, including:
• Residency: The spouse who files for divorce must be a legal resident of the state for a certain period of time. Each state has its own residency requirements. View policies for your state on the LegalVorce website.
• Waiting Period: Most states require a certain length of time to pass between the date the divorce is filed and when it can be finalized. This prevents couples from filing and finalizing a divorce on the same day.
• Legal Grounds: Generally speaking, there are two legal reasons for divorce that most states recognize: irreconcilable differences and separation. A couple may have irreconcilable differences if marital issues and disputes could not be solved amicably and led to the collapse of the marriage. Generally speaking you don’t have to “prove” there are irreconcilable differences. Almost all courts will accept the representation from one spouse that the marriage is no longer supportable and needs to end without any further inquiry.
• Jurisdiction Requirement: The American judicial system is made up of several types of courts. A divorce must be filed with the correct court in order for legal decisions and judgements to be made. In most instances, filing with a court in the county either spouse has resided in for several months is appropriate. Work with LegalVorce to identify the proper court and county to file your case.