In some states, a separation is required before you can divorce for certain reasons. Often, a six-month or one-year waiting period during which you live separately and separately is necessary before you can divorce. The number 7 mentioned above is sometimes called a conversion divorce. Conversion divorces allow divorces based on a Separation Agreement that you already had in place for a full year.
Basically, you change the Separation Agreement for a divorce. Even if you want to get divorced for other reasons, a Separation Agreement can make divorce easier and faster. When it comes to marriage, separation is not the same thing as divorce, even if you have a judgment of separation from a court. Separation means that you live separately from your spouse, but are still legally married until you receive a divorce decree.
While a separation doesn't end your marriage, it does affect the financial responsibilities between you and your spouse before the divorce is final. A complaint or petition is the document that is filed with the court, initiating the divorce proceedings. By filing this document, you ask the court to officially end your marriage. Complaints refer to the parties as plaintiff and defendant.
Petitions name the parties, petitioner and respondent. The person filing for divorce is either the plaintiff or the petitioner. You must then notify your spouse that you have filed for divorce. Having the complaint or petition delivered to your spouse in person is the preferred method of service or delivery.
Other forms of notification may be allowed, including mailing the document to your spouse. After your spouse has received the complaint or petition, the court begins the marriage termination process. Often, there is a waiting period before the divorce is final. These periods vary by state, and some states don't require waiting.
In addition, if your divorce is not contested and you and your spouse do not have children or significant assets, you may file all the documents necessary for the dissolution of the marriage and finalize your divorce without having to appear in court. It is important to note that a court must have jurisdiction or authority over the non-resident spouse in order to make decisions regarding property division, custody and alimony. The non-resident spouse must be personally served with divorce documents or consent to the jurisdiction. Consent includes appearing in court on the appropriate date or signing an affidavit of service, acknowledging receipt of legal documents.
Another method of consent is to follow court rules, such as complying with court-ordered child support. Legal separation effectively ends a relationship, and is a judicially recognized separation between spouses. But the marriage is intact and the spouses cannot remarry or form a de facto partnership with others. Conversely, a couple seeking divorce asks the court to dissolve the marriage, most often on the grounds that the parties have irreconcilable differences that have led to the breakdown of the marriage.
In some states, a trial separation in which the couple sees if they want to seek a legal separation or divorce does not result in the division of assets or debts. Separation from trial has no real legal effect and is not a legal separation. The annulment of marriage is a legal decree that establishes that a marriage is null and void. Annulments are granted when a court finds that a marriage is invalid.
While a divorce ends a legally valid marriage, an annulment treats the marriage as if it never existed. The end result of an annulment is the same as that of a divorce: the parties are single and can remarry or form a domestic partnership with another person. In addition, as in the case of divorce, the court presiding over an annulment proceeding may determine issues of child custody, child support, alimony and division of assets. Some airlines offer a process for dividing air miles in the event of a divorce, but in many cases divorcing spouses will have to calculate the value of the miles and allow one spouse to buy the other part on their share.
The valuation can be based on a number of considerations, such as the dollar amount that miles can be redeemed for or the approximate amount of money each spouse would realistically save on flights before the miles run out or expire. Some credit card point programs allow point transfers between cards, so divorcing spouses could split points between their respective personal cards (and share any transfer fees). Points can also be divided by approximating their monetary value and having one spouse buy the other from their share. Alternatively, points could be used to pay the balance on the card, thereby reducing or eliminating the amount of joint debt.
Memberships, such as country club memberships, can be creatively divided in a divorce. The membership agreement can dictate what happens to membership in the event of a divorce. Sometimes both divorcing spouses will be able to maintain their membership and may have to agree (in writing) on specific uses, as if the former spouses will alternately attend club events. If a membership is transferable, it can be sold and the product is divided between the spouses.
If the membership is not transferable and both spouses cannot or do not want to maintain the membership, one spouse can purchase the other with their share for its approximate value (including prepayments). However, a court may refuse to divide the membership of a club if it cannot be valued. Divorce after a legal separation agreement: A divorce after a separation agreement is another basis (ground) for a divorce. You don't need to have one of the fault-based reasons listed above.
To file for divorce, you and your spouse must have filed a valid separation agreement (which we recommend that an attorney draw up for you, as there are many specific requirements you must meet to be valid) or one of the spouses may file for a court-ordered judicial separation. You must also live separately and separately for one year after the agreement or court order before you can get a divorce. 4 To understand what must be in a separation agreement to be considered grounds for divorce, it is best to consult a lawyer. If you fail to do so, you can also try to get a divorce certificate from the New York State Department of Health, however, the Department of Health charges a fee for this service.
Legal separation allows each spouse to go through, regardless, of their marriage, without going through formal divorce proceedings. For example, Arizona requires a period of separation only for couples who are ending a covenant marriage, and Nevada requires a separation unless the couple files a no-fault divorce alleging incompatibility. However, deciding to divorce right away doesn't mean you can't resolve your differences before a divorce trial. We expect most people to try to use the irrecoverable collapse, sometimes called no-fault divorce, when they file for divorce in New York.
Once you are permanently separated from your spouse and have made basic agreements about your joint assets and debts, you don't have to get divorced right away. Although the rules vary by state, both parties are generally required to fully disclose their assets and debts during a divorce involving controversial issues of property division. For example, if one spouse fails to pay child support and alimony, the judgment and the separation order (s) will give the receiving spouse some remedy for the orders to be executed in court, meaning that a judge may force the delinquent spouse to pay. If you haven't reached an agreement and you think you and your spouse could come to an agreement with some help, you may want to consider divorce mediation or collaborative family law.
Working with an attorney may be advisable in these circumstances, as the requirements for obtaining a divorce by publication are complex in many states. For example, if your spouse left angry and spent a month sleeping on a friend's couch, but you didn't discuss divorce until the month passed, the date the separation became permanent might not be clear. However, you should be aware that in many cases, filing a divorce action while living with your spouse may not only be emotionally difficult, but it can also be dangerous for you and your children if there has been domestic violence in the home. With a legal separation or separation order, the non-paying spouse can be charged with contempt for violating the order; contempt can result in fines, penalties, and even jail time.