Divorce Law: What Happens in a Divorce?


Divorce is the legal process of breaking your marriage from your spouses. The state government governs divorce law. The whole matter is put forward in front of the judge, and after reviewing all the evidence, the judge decides whether the marriage will be dissolved or not.

Divorce law consists of several procedures that even take up years. Te proceeding might include the following matters:

  • Spousal Support.
  • Child Support.
  • Distribution Of Property.
  • Division of debts.

Divorce law varies from state to state; however, the basic law structures are being designed by the federal government.

What Is A Divorce?

What is A Divorce

Divorce is a common way to end a marriage, but there are rules about why. Some reasons include cheating, unreasonable behavior, or being apart for a long time. You don’t always need a specific reason. 

Thus, there’s something called “No-Fault Divorce” where you can split without blaming anyone. This usually happens when you just can’t get along anymore.


This happens when a spouse has an extramarital affair, and it’s often considered a valid reason for divorce. It involves one partner being unfaithful to the other.

Unreasonable Behavior

This covers various behaviors that make it challenging to continue the marriage. It can include things like abuse, addiction issues, or persistent arguments that impact the relationship.

Long Separation

If spouses have lived separately for a significant period, it might serve as a reason for divorce. This separation duration varies by region but typically means living apart for a year or more.

No-Fault Divorce

This option doesn’t require proving fault by either spouse. It’s available in many places, allowing couples to divorce without specifying a particular reason.

Moreover, it’s often used when neither person is solely responsible, but they’ve drifted apart or their personalities clash too much to continue the marriage.

Other Grounds

In some areas, other grounds for divorce might exist, like cruelty, abandonment, or imprisonment of a spouse.

Remember, divorce laws can vary by region, so it’s essential to check the specific laws applicable to your location for accurate information.

There are various methods in which you can ask the judge to dissolve the marriage. For the sake of convenience, each method has been categorized into different types.

1. Summary Divorced

A summary divorce law consists of a lot less paperwork compared to other forms of divorces. Usually, a summary divorce happens between newlywed couples who hardly own any properties together, neither have any children nor joint debts.

2. Uncontested Divorce

If you want to file a type of divorce that has less court proceeding and less stress, going with the uncontested divorce is the best option to go for.

These kinds of divorce happen when both the spouses are in mutual understanding, accepting the differences they hold, and know that there is no point in moving forward with the marriage. Everything is settled without the interference of the court.

3. Default Divorce

A default divorce happens when you have filed for a divorce, and your partner has not responded to you. According to the divorce law, if the partner does not respond to the divorce notice, the case will go to court.

However, if the partner is nowhere to be found and cares less about the court proceeding, the case will be closed with a default divorce.

4. Contested Divorce

If you and your partner are at each other’s neck regarding the terms and conditions of the marriage divorce, the judge will issue a final decision on the matter according to the divorce law. 

Contested divorce cases are stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. In fact, these cases run for years before coming to mutual solutions.

5. Fault & No-Fault Divorce

This refers to grounds one on which you are basing your divorce. Your state law will allow the permissible grounds on which you can file divorce against your spouse. The cases where the spouses are found guilty falls under faulty divorces.

On the other hand, there are other cases in which spouses can file a divorce case under non-fault divorce law. Here you have to show that the two partners are different in many ways and will not remain happy continuing with the marriage.

6. Mediated Divorce

Mediating divorce is a process where the spouses sit together and talk about the future and how their marriage will go. Before filing a divorce, a mediated divorce is the best way to resolve any problems.

However, you need to understand that it is not the mediator’s job to make decisions for your sake; rather, they will offer your guidance and help you communicate with your partner.

What Happens in A Divorce?

Although Divorce is quite common in America, the divorce process will vary depending on the state divorce law and the couple’s current situation. Short-term marriages are pretty easy to handle as these types of marriages hardly involve any variable to deal with.

However, long-term marriages are pretty complicated. These marriages involve important variables like share debt, child custody, and property distribution, making the divorce process complicated.

Here what happens in a divorce.

Step 1: Filing Divorce Petition

Whether spouses agree with the divorce or not, one spouse must file a petition asking the court to terminate the marriage before getting with the whole divorce proceeding. The filing spouse must provide the following information with the petition.

Step 2: Asking For Temporary Orders

Asking for temporary orders is essential when you have a child to take care of. The divorce proceedings can take months and sometimes a year, and if you have a child to take care of, waiting that long is impossible. So the court asks the spouses to ask the court for temporary orders for child custody, child support, and spousal support.

Step 3: Serve Your Spouse & Wait For Response

After you have filed a petition in the court, you need to provide a copy of the same document to your spouse and file a proof of service to the court. Proof of service is a document that records the information where you state that you have met the necessary requirement of giving a copy of the petition to your spouse. Now you need to wait for your spouse’s response.

Step 4: Negotiate A Settlement

Divorce law cases are complex when other variables are involved in, for instance, child custody, shared debts, and property division. In cases like these, both the spouses are brought in front of the court to come to an agreement.

Step 5: Divorce Trial

Sometimes negotiation fails despite the best effort from both sides. If that happens, the last resort is to take them into court for trial. A divorce trial is a costly and time-consuming process. In addition to that, it takes all the powers from the hand of spouses and places them into the hands of judges.


Divorce laws are complicated, and this complication becomes more complex due to the spouses’ disagreement on the case. Here we have tried to list down every possible thing that you need to make regarding divorce law.

Individual states in the United States primarily determine divorce laws.  They establish their own regulations covering divorce aspects like reasons for divorce, property division, child custody, and spousal support.

Federal law generally doesn’t set the specific steps or requirements for divorce. Instead, federal laws might influence certain divorce aspects.

Yes, this especially applies to particularly those related to federal benefits, taxes, or military-related issues.

Federal laws could impact areas such as the allocation of federal benefits. Thus, benefits can look like retirement benefits for government employees.

Additionally, the taxation of alimony or child support payments matters. Moreover, the rights of military members and their spouses during divorce proceedings also matter. However, essential divorce matters like the grounds for divorce, child custody arrangements, property division, and spousal support are under state laws, not federal regulations. It’s important to explore the specific divorce laws within your state to understand your specific conditions. If you are going through a divorce, it is better that you take professional help and try to explore every option for the best result.

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