Qualifications for Divorce

By Wayne Thomas

Divorcing couples often hope for a quick, painless divorce. However, even in cases where spouses can agree, various procedural steps can cause a divorce to move at what may feel like a snail's pace. Although states can vary, knowing at the outset the most common qualifications for obtaining a divorce will help you avoid unnecessary setbacks.

Divorcing couples often hope for a quick, painless divorce. However, even in cases where spouses can agree, various procedural steps can cause a divorce to move at what may feel like a snail's pace. Although states can vary, knowing at the outset the most common qualifications for obtaining a divorce will help you avoid unnecessary setbacks.

Residency Requirements

You must meet the state-specific residency requirement before you may file for a divorce. Many states mandate that either you or your spouse live in the state for a period leading up to filing, such as six months. Some states offer a reduced residency period if you were married in the state or if your reason for divorce -- also known as the grounds for divorce -- occurred locally. An example might be if you plan on filing on grounds of adultery and your spouse cheated on you in the state you wish to file in.

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Divorce Grounds

All states allow no-fault grounds for divorce. This means that you no longer need to prove that your spouse's actions were the reason your marriage collapsed. However, some states require that you and your spouse first live separate and apart for a period, such as 12 months, before requesting the divorce. Different requirements may apply if you plan to file under traditional fault grounds. For example, for the fault ground of commission of a felony, some states require that your spouse be confined to a prison facility for a specific period of time.

Filing Process

Before a judge will grant your divorce, you must follow the appropriate steps for filing. Most states require that one spouse submit a written divorce request called a complaint, and have a copy delivered by a sheriff to the other spouse. The non-filing spouse must also submit a timely written response, known as an answer. Failure to follow these specific rules can result in your case being delayed, so many spouses choose to obtain the assistance of an attorney or an online legal document provider during the process.

Waiting Period

Some states impose mandatory waiting periods on all couples before a divorce will be granted. This is true, even if all of your paperwork is in order and you otherwise qualify for divorce. States can vary regarding the time period, which can be up to 180 days if you have children. In some cases, these periods can be waived or reduced if you can demonstrate a particular hardship. However, waiting periods generally apply, regardless of whether you and your spouse agree on all major terms of your divorce.

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How Long Does a Divorce in West Virginia Take?

References

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How to File for Divorce in Wayne County, Michigan

Michigan is one of 14 pure no-fault divorce states. This means that the only ground for divorce is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Most states allow an individual to file for divorce under no-fault grounds, but if the non-filing party contests the divorce, the party seeking the divorce must prove that there are grounds for the divorce under state law. Grounds for divorce vary from state to state. Divorce in Michigan can be finalized within six months provided a property settlement is achieved. The process for obtaining a divorce varies slightly if there are children involved in the marriage.

Do You Have to Be Separated in Indiana Before You Get Divorced?

While you do not need to be separated from your spouse prior to filing for divorce, you must live separately from your spouse for a minimum of 60 days before the court will grant the divorce. In addition, there are several requirements before you can file for divorce in Indiana. For example, you or your spouse must live in Indiana for at least six months and you or your spouse must live in the county where you file the divorce petition for at least three months.

What Is Action for Divorce?

A divorce is legal in nature and proceeds much like any other lawsuit. For that reason, the process for obtaining a divorce is often referred to as an "action for divorce." Although states can vary on the specific steps, the purpose of a divorce action is to legally dissolve the marriage and settle matters related to property, spousal support, and child custody and support.

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