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Divorce Lawyer Referrals

If you are in need of an experienced divorce attorney, call Attorney Search Network today for a free consultation.

Divorce, which is also known as dissolution, is the legal termination of a marriage once the union is deemed unviable by at least one member of a married couple. Divorces also allow both of the former spouses to remarry.

It used to be that divorce in the United States existed on a fault-based system in which it was legally possible to achieve an absolute divorce in the way that Britain historically allowed for separation. Separation and the freedom to remarry were only granted on the basis of a wrongful action, like adultery, committed by the defendant against the plaintiff. The fault-based system was grounded in the idea that the “innocent and injured” spouse should have the freedom to be relieved of the suffering inflicted by the misbehaving spouse. Wrongful actions have historically included adultery, desertion, alcoholism, felony conviction, impotence, and the most common grounds for divorce: cruel and inhuman treatment. Even if both parties wanted a divorce, it was required that the plaintiff prove that he or she was being mistreated in order to obtain the divorce. That requirement stemmed from the state’s desire to maintain as many stable marriages as possible.

The fault system also required that the “innocent and injured” spouse be faultless. That spouse could thus be denied a divorce for the following reasons: condonation, which meant forgiving the defendant of the misconduct that prompted the divorce in the first place; recrimination, that is, the plaintiff was not eligible to receive help from the court (this meant that if both spouses wanted a divorce and provided grounds, neither would be granted the divorce); collusion, meaning that the plaintiff and the defendant conspired together to provide proof of the need for divorce; and lastly, connivance.

In the mid-1900s, most states had begun to notice no-fault trends as grounds for divorce, including when spouses had lived separate and apart, insanity, or incompatibility. However, trial judges and lawyers continued to feel mounting pressure to uphold a fictional fault-based system even as public attitudes towards divorce viewed them as less dishonorable and multiple marriages became more popular. Moreover, the difficulty of obtaining a divorce in some states led to more and more people traveling to other parts of the country or outside the continental U.S. to get divorced or obtain a divorce decree, a system that became known as migratory divorce. However, that system was often seen as discriminating against the poor who could not afford to move or travel to obtain a divorce.

By the 1970s, a divorce reform movement began in the U.S. A system in which single, no-fault grounds could prove the need for the termination of “irretrievably broken” marriages was proposed and spread throughout the nation by the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act. Although many were opposed to this new principle, on the basis that irretrievable breakdown is too subjective, there seems to be no proof that laws and reforms have caused the country’s increasing rates of divorce. Experts instead believe that high divorce rates can be explained by several factors, including greater public acceptance of divorce, more financial and emotional independence for women, and a bigger belief in marriage’s emotional value which has led unhappy spouses to divorce in the hopes of finding a more successful subsequent marriage.

During a divorce, one spouse, typically the wife, may be given alimony or maintenance payments for a temporary amount of time. Either spouse may be awarded child custody, with certain requirements ordered to each parent regarding visitation and child support. Often, however, joint-custody agreements are reached between divorcing spouses.

A separation agreement is a contract between two spouses showing their decision to live apart. A judicial separation is a court decree that legally separates two spouses and provides for them to live apart. A judicial separation does not, however, terminate the marriage relationship. Separation agreements contain regulations for child custody and support and the division of property between the spouses.

The process of obtaining a divorce can be very emotionally and financially stressful. Seeking the advice of a divorce attorney can help ease the process and ensure that the divorce proceedings run as smoothly as possible. Contact Attorney Search Network to find a pre-screened and top divorce attorney with child custody, child support, and division of property experience.

Contact Attorney Search Network for a Family Law Lawyer Referral in your local area with Divorce expereince.