Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the ending of a marriage, which can be contrasted with an annulment, which is a declaration that a marriage is void, though the effects of marriage may be recognized in such unions, such as spousal support, child custody and distribution of property.
Divorce may be a result of one or more factors, usually more than one, which make a couple unable or unwilling to continue the relationship. In some cases, incompatibilities arise due to financial needs, vast differences in career goals, or conflicts concerning time spent outside the home.
Social and Psychological Issues
The subject of divorce as a social phenomenon is an important research topic in sociology. Some researchers argue that divorce rates do not always reflect actual interactions among people; that is, some countries may show a low divorce rate because, in such countries, people rarely get married in the first place.
In United States, Canada, United Kingdom and other some other developed Commonwealth countries, the boom in divorce developed in the last half of the twentieth century. In addition, acceptance of the single-parent family has resulted in many women deciding to have children outside marriage as there is little remaining social stigma attached to unwed mothers.
Legal Aspects of Divorce
Divorce in the United States is a matter of state law, not federal law. Each state’s legislature has enacted divorce laws that set forth the requirements for obtaining a divorce. These requirements vary from state to state.
In general there is a residency requirement and a waiting period after the separation. For example, in North Carolina, a spouse must have lived in North Carolina at least six months and must wait one year after separating to file for divorce. Other states have different residency requirements and waiting periods. Some states have requirements that issues like custody must be settled prior to the divorce.
Another issue is whether or not a divorcing party has to prove that the divorce is the other party’s fault. Generally speaking, states offer no-fault divorces where the issue who is responsible for the dissolution of the marriage is irrelevant.
Kelly Kennedy is the Communications Specialist for MindComet Corporation, a full service marketing agency for Fortune 500 companies and international conglomerates. Kelly specializes in public relations strategies focused on personal finance. Kelly has been author to hundreds of articles focusing on finance. She also acts as a contributing author for a wide variety of websites and newsletters. Kelly holds a Bachelors degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida.
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