Absolute divorce - a divorce that is granted on the basis of marital misconduct or a finding that the relationship is no longer workable (also known as no-fault divorce). In an absolute divorce, the marriage is completely dissolved and both parties are legally unmarried again.
Limited divorce - a separation of the two parties that terminates cohabitation. In a limited divorce, the marriage is not dissolved and the parties remain married to one another. Limited divorce is also known as "separation."
Another way to dissolve a marriage is annulment. When an annulment is granted, it treats the marriage as though it never existed. An annulment is not really a divorce, although it does dissolve a marriage. Annulments are difficult to get, particularly if the marriage is long. Grounds for annulment include:
Misrepresentation or fraud - this can include: lying about already being married.
Concealment - examples of concealment include: concealing a felony conviction, concealing an addiction, and concealing a sexually transmitted disease. Inability (or refusal) to consummate the marriage.
Misunderstanding - an example of a misunderstanding would be that one party thought that the other wanted children when, in fact, they did not.
Alimony is defined as payment from one spouse to another for support after divorce or separation. Alimony can be paid on a monthly basis, or in a lump sum if allowed by the state. Alimony is paid by the supporting spouse to the dependent spouse. In some states, if the dependent spouse committed adultery, that spouse is not entitled to alimony. The factors that courts consider when granting alimony vary by state.
Most states consider such factors as the length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties during the marriage, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income. Courts generally also consider the contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates and the contribution of each of the parties as a homemaker to the family unit. Alimony can continue indefinitely, until death or remarriage, or can be set for a fixed period of time.
Paternity refers to the determination of who the father of a child is in order to arrange child support payments and custody. There are several types of fathers that may be required to pay child support:
Acknowledged father - the biological father of a child born to parents who are not married. In this case, paternity can be established through admission of the father or an agreement between the parents of the child.
Presumed father - a man can be presumed the father of a child if he was married to the mother of the child when the child was conceived or born, if he attempted to marry the mother of the child when the child was conceived or born, if he married the mother after the birth of the child and agreed to support the child or have his name put on the birth certificate, or if he welcomed the child into his home as his own.
Equitable father - a father who is not the biological or adoptive parent of a child. An equitable father can be granted custody or visitation rights if a close relationship with the child exists or if the biological parents of the child encourage the relationship.
Unwed father - a man who has not married the woman with whom he has conceived a child. In this instance, the man has no legal recourse if the woman decides to undergo an abortion, but if the child is born he may be expected to pay child support and can be granted visitation rights or custody of the child.
Copyright Calliope Media, Inc. © 2011 --- All Rights Reserved.