State Divorce Laws

Divorce Law

There has been a lot of talk in the news recently about what constitutes a traditional marriage. These discussions usually include advocacy for saving marriages. The harsh reality is that in American over 40% of all marriages end in divorce. The percentage of divorces actually increases the longer the marriage lasts. Couples married for 15 years are more likely to divorce than couples married just five years.

There was time when obtaining a divorce as a very difficult and a time consuming process. For many people, this meant a six week vacation to Nevada where they could establish residency and then file for a divorce. Today, Nevada still ranks as number one when it comes to the highest number of divorces. The top five divorce states that round out the highest divorce rate are Arkansas, Alabama, Wyoming and Idaho.

If you or someone you know is considering a divorce, it’s important you get information about your state’s divorces laws. The more you know, the easier the process will become.

Grounds for Divorce

Each state has set their own set of divorce laws. The primary function of these laws is to determine the grounds for divorce. Just like anyone who wants to get married needs to get a state license, anyone who wants to get divorced needs to be legally granted that decree by the courts.

Many states have adopted a no-fault divorce policy. This essentially means that both spouses have agreed that the marriage is broken and simply can’t be fixed. On the other hand, if only one spouse petitions the court for a divorce, they will need to prove those grounds as defined by the state. Some of those reasons can include cheating, mental or physical abuse, or abandonment.

Distribution of Property in Divorces

Just because a couple is in agreement over their marriage failing doesn’t mean they’ll be in agreement over who gets what. Some states like California are community property states. This means that every asset that was acquired during the marriage is to be equally distributed between the spouses. There’s not a lot of give and take with community property laws.

The other type of distribution is called equitable distribution. This is where a judge will determine how the marital assets are divided based on many factors including the length of the marriage and hardship concerns.

Alimony Payments

For many divorced couples, alimony payments are a sore spot. These are also determined by a judge based on the economic conditions of each spouse and their ability to support themselves.

Child Custody and Child Support

The most important factor in any divorce case is the well-being of the children involved in the matter. Who will have custody and who will be financially responsible for support is part of an official court ruling that must be adhered to by both sides.

Typically, a family court judge will conduct interviews with the children and base their rulings on what the child wants versus what the parents want. After a period of time, courts allow the issue of custody and support to be reviewed and adjusted accordingly.


Divorce Laws by State

Alabama Divorce Laws

Alabama Divorce Those looking to file for divorce in the state of Alabama must first make sure that they have all the necessary court information first. Some divorce cases are…

Alaska Divorce Laws

Alaska Divorce In Alaska, the residency requirements stipulate which Superior Court will be in charge of the divorce case. Residency requirements are met by most individuals and only possess a…

Arizona Divorce Laws

Arizona Divorce Before a divorce case can be brought to court certain requirements must be fulfilled. Arizona law states that the proper residency requirements need to be filled for the…

Arkansas Divorce Laws

Arkansas Divorce Each state has residency requirements for filing for divorce in that state. Arkansas has these certain residency requirements but they can be different from other states. A court…

California Divorce Laws

If there is no way to reconcile your marriage in California, you have a few alternatives to end the relationship with your spouse. Divorce, nullity, and legal separation all serve…

Colorado Divorce Laws

Colorado Divorce Different titles of divorce are designated in Colorado that is different from those of other states. The individual who files for divorce is called the petitioner, while the…

Connecticut Divorce Laws

Divorce Laws in Connecticut The state of Connecticut requires that all those petitioning for divorce be Connecticut residents for a minimum of twelve months prior to filing. If not all…

Delaware Divorce Laws

Delaware Divorce The amount of time an individual is required to be a state resident for divorce proceedings depends on the state of residency. In Delaware, individuals are required to…

Florida Divorce Laws

Florida Divorce Residency Requirements In order to be able to apply for a divorce in Florida one of the spouses must apply to the Circuit Court for dissolution of marriage….

Georgia Divorce Laws

Residency requirements when divorcing in Georgia If you wish to file for divorce in Georgia then certain requirements must have been met. No divorce is granted unless the spouse has…

Hawaii Divorce Laws

Hawaii Divorce Divorce in Hawaii, like in other states, is based on residency. Divorces are handled on the federal level, so in which county the individuals reside, or if they…

Idaho Divorce Laws

Idaho Divorce Divorce in Idaho begins by fulfilling the required residency terms. The courts of Idaho will not accept a case if the residency requirements have not been met. Each…

Illinois Divorce laws

Illinois Divorce Law Details The sad truth about some marriages is that they just weren’t meant to last. On the bright side, the divorce rate across the nation is actually…

Indiana Divorce Laws

Indiana Divorce In order to have a legal divorce in Indiana, individuals must first meet the residency requirements for the state. The court must also accept the requirements, and if…

Iowa Divorce Laws

Iowa Divorce The state of Iowa requires that individuals filing for divorce in Iowa be state residents for a minimum of one year. Residency requirements are necessary for each state…

Kansas Divorce Laws

Kansas Divorce Requirements Filing for divorce in most states is quite similar with only slight changes for Kansas. One of these differences defines where divorce is petitioned. The county of…

Kentucky Divorce Laws

Kentucky Divorce and Residency The residency of an individual defines where a divorce case shall be filed. The Kentucky circuit courts of each county will handle the residents within their…

Louisiana Divorce Laws

Filing a Petition for Divorce The initiatory document is called Petition for Divorce. The Petition must allege at least one specific ground for the termination of the marriage. The Petition…

Maine Divorce Laws

Maine Residency Requirements Each state has different requirements for filing for divorce. One of these requirements is where the individuals filing reside. If any of the necessary requirements for the…

Maryland Divorce Laws

Maryland Divorce Details According to recent surveys, the average cost of an American wedding is around $20,000. You’ve probably been to weddings where they spent a lot more or a…

Massachusetts Divorce Laws

Massachusetts Divorce Law Details There is an ongoing debate happening all across the country as to what should be consider the legal definition of marriage. It would seem that this…

Michigan Divorce Laws

Like most states, residents of the State of Michigan can expect divorce laws that are specific to their state. These state-specific laws may make it more difficult to determine what…

Minnesota Divorce Laws

Minnesota Divorce Details When it comes to divorce rates, Minnesota comes in at number 41 for the amount of divorces in America. That’s good news for fans of marriage. What’s…

Mississippi Divorce Laws

Mississippi Divorce Law Details When a couple exchanges marriage vows they are looking ahead to a hopeful future. No one really thinks that an “I do” should lead to an…

Missouri Divorce Laws

Missouri Divorce Details Some couples go through a long courtship period before getting married. The average length of an engagement is around sixteen months, however, it can be a lot…

Montana Divorce Laws

Divorce Laws in Montana Where divorces in the United States are handled depends on where the individuals have residency. Each state has different residency requirements for filing for divorce. Montana…

Nebraska Divorce Laws

Nebraska Divorce Details To understand a particular state’s laws you need to dig back into their history to see how that state was formed. For instance, states with a long…

Nevada Divorce Laws

Divorce Laws in Nevada If there is one state in America associated with quick marriages and even quicker divorces, it is Nevada. On the average there are over 120,000 marriages…

New Hampshire Divorce Laws

New Hampshire Divorce Requirements The United States requires an individual to file for divorce in his or her county of residency. Residency requirements are different in each state and are…

New Jersey Divorce Laws

New Jersey Divorce Requirements The state of New Jersey requires that individuals be within state lines in order to file for divorce. These residency requirements also state that at least…

New Mexico Divorce Laws

New Mexico Divorce Requirements Each state has different residency requirements for how divorces may proceed. In New Mexico individuals filing for divorce are required to be state residents for a…

New York Divorce Laws

New York Divorce Requirements Divorces are filed to the county district courts where individual live. If individuals live outside of New York they cannot file for a divorce in New…

North Carolina Divorce Laws

North Carolina Divorce Requirements Before individuals are allowed to file for divorce in the state of North Carolina, they first must meet the residency requirements. Residency requirement vary with each…

North Dakota Divorce Laws

North Dakota Divorce Requirements The state of North Dakota requires that individuals petitioning for divorce to be state residents. Residency is a stipulation as divorce cases are handled by county…

Ohio Divorce Laws

Ohio Divorce Each state has a unique set of divorce laws. Although many states may have laws related to divorce which are similar, it is always a good idea to…

Oklahoma Divorce Laws

Oklahoma Divorce Requirements Oklahoma requires that individuals applying for Oklahoma divorces be state residents. The state also requires that state residents be within the state for a minimum of six…

Oregon Divorce Laws

Oregon Divorce Requirements The state of Oregon requires that those filing for an Oregon divorce be state residents for a minimum of six months. This six-month time period must be…

Pennsylvania Divorce Laws

Divorce in Pennsylvania From a legal standpoint, divorce decree falls into two basic categories: contested or no fault. Pennsylvania divorce laws call the “no fault” divorce a mutual consent divorce….

Rhode Island Divorce Laws

Rhode Island Residency Requirements To legally file for divorce in the state of Rhode Island individuals must first meet the residency requirements set by the state. These laws require that…

South Carolina Divorce Laws

South Carolina Divorce Details As you stand before your friends and family during a wedding ceremony, the last thing on your mind should be whether or not you’ll end up…

South Dakota Divorce Laws

South Dakota Divorce There are many happily married couples who are proud to proclaim they fell in love with their spouse at first sight. When that love is genuine then…

Tennessee Divorce Laws

Tennessee Divorce Details One of the easiest aspects of getting a divorce is the ability for the married woman to change her name back to her maiden name. This can…

Texas Divorce Laws

Texas Divorce Requirements Divorces in Texas must first meet the residency requirements before eligibility is assessed. Residency requirements in Texas state that at least one individual in the marriage must…

Utah Divorce Laws

Utah Divorce Details In order to file for a divorce in a particular state, you need to be an official resident. The requirements for residency vary from state to state….

Vermont Divorce Laws

Vermont Divorce Requirements Prior to filing for divorce individuals must first meet the Vermont state requirements. In order to file for divorce in Vermont an individual must reside within the…

Virginia Divorce Laws

Virginia Divorce Requirements Before filing for divorce the individuals involved must first meet the residency requirements. In the state of Virginia individuals must file in the county in which they…

Washington D.C. Divorce Laws

Washington D.C. Divorce Requirements Divorces in the United States are handled by the federal court system, so where a divorce petition is filed depends on the place of residency. The…

Washington Divorce Laws

Washington Divorce Requirements The state of Washington has specific residency requirements that need to be met prior to filing for divorce. Divorce cases are handled by the county circuit court…

West Virginia Divorce Laws

West Virginia Divorce Requirements The state of West Virginia requires individuals applying for divorce to first be West Virginia citizens for a minimum of one year prior to petitioning. These…

Wisconsin Divorce Laws

Divorce in Wisconsin Divorce is not an easy process – it is stressful, emotional and conflict-ridden. Divorce impacts almost every aspect of an individual’s life including relationships with family and…

Wyoming Divorce Laws

Wyoming Divorce There was a time when getting a divorce was a lot harder to come by. Certainly a lot harder than it was to get married. One of the…