Alimony entitlement
Alimony, sometimes called spousal support, is an allowance made to one spouse by the other for support during or after legal separation or divorce. It's designed to provide the lower-income spouse with money for living expenses over and above any money that's provided by child support.
Like a divorce, an annulment is a court procedure that dissolves a marriage. An annulment, however, treats the marriage as though it never happened. For some people, divorce carries a stigma and they would rather their marriage be annulled.
Child support and alimony
Child support is a payment by one parent to the other for the support of their common child. Usually, the parent who doesn't have custody of the child is required to pay child support.
Community property
Community property is all the property that has been acquired during a marriage, other than gifts or an inheritance. Even if one spouse earns all the money to acquire the property, all the property acquired is considered to be community property.
Contested vs. uncontested divorces
Any divorce proceedings in which the parties haven't agreed about every aspect of the divorce are considered a contested divorce. Sometimes a couple is unable to work out the terms of their divorce by themselves, and aren't able to agree on important items such as division of property, alimony, and, if there are children, custody, support, and visitation.
Differences between a lawyer and a paralegal
A lawyer is a person who's authorized to give legal advice to clients and to plead cases in a court of law. A lawyer is sometimes also called an 'attorney.
Facts about divorce
A divorce is the dissolution of a valid marriage. The most common grounds for divorce are drug or alcohol addiction, adultery, cruelty, conviction of a crime, desertion, insanity, and nonsupport.
Marital property
Marital property is any property jointly owned by a husband and wife that's been accumulated during the marriage, regardless of which spouse earned it.
Physical and financial protection
In some divorces, one or both spouses may feel that they need physical or financial protection. Before the couple has a divorce court hearing, either spouse may take out a temporary order against the other spouse.
Post-divorce issues
Once a divorce is final, issues may remain for ex-spouses to deal with. Whether a couple has worked out their own plan for child custody and visitation, or whether a court has implemented a schedule, parents and children must adjust to the new arrangements.
Pre-nuptial agreements
A pre-nuptial agreement is a binding legal contract between two people who intend to marry. A pre-nuptial agreement may also be called a 'pre-marital agreement.
Property and debt division
It's common for a divorcing couple to decide about dividing their property and debts themselves, rather than leave it to a judge. However, if a couple can't agree, they can submit their property dispute to the court, which will use state law to divide the property.
Solving emergency problems
Sometimes, before a divorce can be finalized, emergency problems may arise. In emergency situations, any number of temporary orders may be obtained. For example, an unemployed spouse may suddenly be without enough money to pay bills or take care of children.
Temporary restraining orders
A temporary restraining order may be obtained by a spouse who feels threatened, or that he or she is or may be a victim of domestic violence. Sometimes during a divorce, one spouse may feel the need to ask for a temporary restraining order against his or her spouse.
Temporary support orders
A divorce can take a long time to finalize, depending upon how well spouses work together to reach an agreement. Sometimes one spouse will find that he or she needs to file a temporary support order before a permanent system of alimony or spousal support is established by the court.
What is a legal separation?
A legal separation results when a couple separates and a court rules on the division of property, alimony, child support, custody, and visitation, but doesn't grant a divorce.
What is an annulment?
An annulment is a declaration by a court that a marriage is invalid. An annulment is different from a divorce in that a divorce terminates a legal status, while an annulment establishes that a marital status never existed.
Who gets what?
It's common for a divorcing couple to decide about dividing their property themselves. However, if a couple can't agree, they can submit their dispute to the court, which will use state law to divide the property.

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