legal divorce laws

An Overview Of Divorce Laws in the US

Each county and state has its own set of laws when it comes to divorce. The main purpose of these laws is to ensure that a divorce proceeds smoothly and the couples involved are not cheated of their rights and get justice according to a standard method or practice accepted to all.

As divorce is already a painful process that causes its subjects to undergo a painful experience, these laws are there to ensure minimal misery and see that each person gets their due share.  The US government has specified certain divorce laws, according to its numerous states to make the divorce process easy and quick.

Divorce Laws in the States of US

Each state in the USA has its own set of divorce laws that are although same but differ on the basis of state being liberal or conservative. These divorce laws are there to make the whole process simple and quick and confine people not to deviate from state defined rules and to make them adhere to the rules and regulations.

All the 51 states of the US follow the divorce laws as decreed by the government and ensure that all the proceedings are carried off fairly and both the parties get justice. Here we will discuss divorce laws of two of the most important and big states of US and see how they help couples who no longer want to live together.

For further details regarding divorce laws in other US states, please click here

Divorce Laws in Washington D.C

The state of Washington D.C has the following divorce laws:

Residency Requirements

This requires the couples to meet the set residency requirements before they can file for a divorce. To file a case, one partner must be a resident of Washington D.C for a period of at least six (6) months. The divorce court does not accept any divorce case that does not come under the jurisdictional powers or rights to hear the divorce case of the court.

Required Documents for Filing Divorce in Washington D.C

To start divorce proceedings in Washington D.C, you will need the following documents:

  • Complaint for Divorce
  • Final Decree of Divorce
  • Affidavit of Corroborating Witness
  • Financial Affidavit
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Affidavit Regarding the Children

Distribution of Property

Being an equitable distribution state, marital or community property in Washington is equally distributed among both the partners.  In case both the parties are unable to reach a common ground, the court will distribute the community property by using three step process as directed by the law.

This three step process is:

  • Segregation of marital or community property from individual property
  • Set a value for the marital or community property in keeping with the current property prices.
  • A fair distribution of marital or community property

Restoration of Name

The divorce laws in Washington allow both the partners to take up their former names once they have filed for a divorce case.

Mediation Counseling

In many cases, the court orders the couple to attend a brief session of mediation counseling before the divorce is finalized. This is to help them review their decision more so in the case if children are involved.

Alimony

If the court considers it necessary, it dictates a permanent or temporary alimony during the case. According to divorce laws in Washington, there are various financial factors that are taken into account before it is decided.

Child Custody and Support

Child custody is one of the major issues when it comes to divorce in Washington. Shared and joint child custody are settled keeping the child’s interest and welfare into consideration.

The amount of child support is decided by the court in Washington if the couple is unable to reach a workable solution.  The amount is based on the net income of the non-custodial parent.

Divorce Laws in Texas

The state of Texas has the following divorce laws:

Residency

According to Texas divorce laws, a person seeking divorce has to be a living in the state for at least month before filing a case.  Only people serving in armed forces of the United States and have been stationed at one or more military installations for at least 6 months will be considered as a resident of Texas.

Required Documents for Filing Divorce in Texas

The required documents for starting and finalizing divorce in the state of Texas are:

  • Petition for Divorce
  • Decree of Divorce
  • Verification
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Financial Affidavit
  • Child Support Worksheet

Distribution of Property

Texas is a “community property” state that means a mathematical formula is used to divide the property among the parting couple where the judge has a right to improvise. The property is divided into “marital” and “separate” property and the judges are at liberty to make a decision within the law.

Restoration of Name

The divorce laws in the state of Texas grant the divorcing couples the right to restore their names once they get the divorce.

Mediation Counseling

Mediation counseling is an attempt to reconcile the differences between the two parties. A mediator or a counselor is hired to start a dialog between the couple filing for divorce to see if the matters can be sorted out.

Alimony

The state of Texas gives limited alimony. In most of the cases, alimony is granted for ten years once if the spouse receiving the maintenance does not have enough property after the divorce to provide for his or her needs. One of the other conditions in which a judge might grant alimony to the spouse is when they are either physically or mentally distal or lack the ability to earn.

Child Custody and Support

The divorce case is finalized keeping in mind the best interests of the children involved and the custody is given to either one party or both. Joint custody is awarded keeping in mind a number of factors such as physical, psychological, emotional needs and development of child.

The amount of child support in Texas is calculated based on the percentage of the net income of the non-custodial parent.