Q: What is a legal divorce?
A: A divorce is the dissolution of a marriage. After divorce, both parties are free to remarry. During typical divorce proceedings, the couple’s assets and debts will be divided and the care and custody of any children will be determined. Each state has its own distinct divorce laws.
Q: What are “fault divorce” and “no-fault divorce”?
A: In the past, divorce generally had only been granted on the basis of marital misconduct called “fault”: adultery, mental cruelty or another wrongful act. There were also defenses to these faults. In these divorces, the spouse at fault often received a smaller portion of the marital settlement. In a no-fault divorce, the parties merely need to state that the marriage has broken down irretrievably or that the couple has irreconcilable differences. Every state has some form of no-fault divorce, but the particulars of the laws can differ markedly from state to state.