Definition - What does Divorce mean?

Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage under the law of a particular jurisdiction. Although the specific laws for divorce vary depending on the jurisdiction, a divorce process through a legal authority or court is required to dissolve a marriage.

Divorce is classified into different categories depending on the laws and the process under which divorce is sought. Categories may include:

  • Fault divorce
  • No-fault divorce
  • Mediated divorce
  • Summary divorce
  • Contested divorce
  • Uncontested divorce
  • Collaborative divorce

A divorce differs from annulment or a separation.

Justipedia explains Divorce

In a few states, the requirements placed on petitioning spouses can be more restrictive and can often require the agreement of both spouses to legitimatize. All the normal components of a divorce case can be present in a dissolution of marriage, including:

  • Alimony
  • Visitation
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Ownership and division of property issues

Under certain circumstances, the dissolution of a marriage can facilitate the change of other factors. For instance, if one spouse has a pension that has not yet been collected, the other spouse may be entitled to a portion of it when it pays out in the future. For this reason, a copy of the dissolution of marriage documents will be sent to the pension board to authorize a change in the beneficiaries of the pension, splitting it between both spouses.

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