Divorce Law in the USA-what you must know – Divorce Mediation
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Divorce Law in the USA-what you must know

Divorce Law in the USA-what you must know

The Family Code is a state regulatory action, which describes in detail all the nuances relating to the conduct of the divorce process. It is not enough to know what law is applied in case of divorce. Spouses must clearly understand their rights and obligations before and after the divorce.

The content of the regulation

The Family Code describes all the procedural features of the divorce process and other nuances that a man and a woman should know. It represents the circumstances based on which it is possible to terminate family relations in court or through the registry offices. Based on a civil action on family relations, issues such as the division of joint property, the continued residence of ordinary children after the divorce of parents, the appointment of alimony are regulated.

The grounds for the formal termination of family relations

Provisions presented based on a civil action (Article 16), and it provides a whole list of legal aspects that could serve as a reason for formally considering the divorce case. There are also some procedural features, without which the dissolution of the union cannot be formalized, from a legal point of view.

Grounds for divorce:

The death of one spouse

In such a situation, the widowed person must submit a supporting document to the registry office. However, based on a civil action, a union is annulled from the moment of death of one of the spouses. If a person is in a situation that represents a threat to life, he hasn’t been declared for half a year – he is recognized as missing. Citizens are also known as losing if there is no information about him at the official place of residence for more than five years (Article 45).

 In this case, the second spouse has the right to file a divorce based on a court decision. When one of the spouses took part in hostilities, and after their termination, there is no information about him for two years, the person is officially declared missing. In this case, according to the family code, a divorce is issued on the death certificate of one of the spouses.

Representatives of civil status bodies have the right to issue a proof of divorce if all documents are available (article 31).

Among them are the following:

•    a statement from both spouses in the absence of ordinary children under the age of majority;

•    account of one of the spouses, if he has a certificate of recognition of the second half of the deceased and missing;

A certified court decision recognizing the marriage as divorced. Article 16 has an amendment, according to which a guardian may act as a representative of one of the spouses if there is a medical certificate confirming his mental disorder.

How to dissolve the marriage

Article 18 contains a list of all those bodies that have the right to file a divorce. This can be done either administratively under civil law acts or through the courts in cases of more complex cases. The family code (Article 21-23) also describes the order and features of the consideration of complex cases. Termination of marital relations is carried out only through a bailiff.

Termination of relations in the registry office

The separation of a marriage through the civil registry office is possible in the following cases (Article 19):

•    there is full consent to the divorce of both spouses;

•    one of the representatives of the pair is recognized as missing or dead;

•    a medical certificate confirms the incapacity of one of the spouses;

•    one of the representatives of the couple has been imprisoned for more than three years.

The procedure for handling cases through the registry office is straightforward. The husband and wife together apply to the representatives of the authorities, the reason for the desire to dissolve the union is optional. If one of the representatives of the couple cannot be present on the appointed day, applications may be submitted separately. One person can file a claim if he has documentary evidence of this right – a certificate of the death of a spouse or recognition of his psychological instability (Article 19). The period for consideration of such cases is no more than 30 days.

State duty is obligatory for the consideration of cases of termination of the union according to the family code. Each representative of the couple pays a fee for a separate receipt.

Termination of relations in court

Article 23 of the Civil Family Code includes the following grounds for the consideration of cases on completion of the union through court:

•    parents after the collapse of the union remain children who have not yet reached the age of majority;

•    one of the representatives of the couple disagree on the termination of the marital relationship;

•    one of the representatives of the couple evades the process concerning divorce cases.

The basis for the consideration of such cases in court may be a statement filed on behalf of a husband or wife. The procedure has its characteristics, without knowing which man or woman will not be able to defend their rights.

The person who applied has the right to collect maintenance, request the division of property and demand to deprive the second parent of meetings with the child. The presence of a qualified lawyer is recommended during the consideration of cases on the dissolution of the union through the court.

The court considers the following questions:

•    with whom the minor child will live;

•    whether there is a marriage contract and how will the property be divided:

•    the issue of the payment of alimony for the child by one of the parents.

Alimony payment

Specific categories of citizens have the right to demand the appointment of alimony after the formal termination of the marital relationship has been formalized (art. 90).

If the spouse has provided a certificate of pregnancy, the ex-husband will be obliged to pay her financial assistance until the child reaches the age of 3 years. This right is granted under the family code.

 Maintenance obligations are imposed on the spouse if there is a disabled child, who will be cared for by the ex-husband after the dissolution of the relationship. If one of the parents takes care of the child and does not have an employment opportunity, he has the right to submit a claim to the court that he wants to impose maintenance obligations on the second representative of the couple.

If the spouses have been together for more than ten years, and when the union collapsed, one of them reached retirement age, the maintenance obligations will be imposed on the second. Alimony, which is imposed on one of the parents, is subject to monthly payment (art. 91).

The amount of payments depends on the official income of the person. However, if desired, the spouses can agree and independently determine the extent of material assistance for the care of the child.

The court will consider the claim of the parents and make a final decision. Section of common property

As regards the division of jointly acquired property, the husband and wife peacefully between themselves or in court can decide the procedure. If the husband and wife choose to resolve the property issue peacefully after the dissolution of the union, they will need to draw up an agreement and assure it of the notary office. This agreement is presented to the court together with the application. 

The order of consideration of the case can be applied within three years from the moment of the dissolution of the union. The procedure has its characteristics; it is far from all property to be divided among themselves. Moreover, if the termination of marriage was formalized, children cannot claim the share of their parents’ estate, only the percentage of women and men is determined. Based on the civil code, among the things that cannot be divided, the following objects are distinguished:

•    objects acquired by a person before marriage;

•    personal items;

•    property received as a gift from deceased relatives.

Is it possible to restore marriage?

The Family Code describes all the features and nuances of the divorce process. For example, with whom minor children will remain after the discord of parents, and how the property will be distributed — however, not all features provided by the code. If the termination of the relationship was formalized, the spouse or wife was declared missing and deceased, and for some time they are announced – the marriage can be restored. The court must reverse its decision.

Conditions when the marriage can be restored in the event of the appearance of a person who disappeared earlier:

•    the second representative of the couple did not have time to sign the marital obligations with another spouse;

•    mutual consent of the spouses to restore the relationship.

The period of consideration of a civil case takes at least 30 days. The termination of marriage is a complicated procedure, where there are nuances and obligations.

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