Things To Know About Your State’s Divorce Law

Every state handles divorce a little bit differently. Be sure to ask your lawyer about these aspects of divorce law in your state. 

Is it a Fault-Based State?

The biggest thing to know right off the bat is whether your state recognizes fault-based marriages or not.

In a fault-based state, the judge may rule that the divorce was caused by a particular spouse's actions. That can have a big impact on how assets are awarded or even how custody is handled. In a no-fault state, these aspects of a divorce state are not considered. This matters because it will determine your first actions. 

Will you be gathering evidence to support that the divorce was not your fault, or that it was your partner's fault instead? Or will you be able to jump straight into creating a plan for dealing with shared assets and other obligations?

How Is Alimony and Asset Splitting Handled?

Different states and even different jurisdictions can handle alimony and asset splitting differently. There is some subjectivity in whether assets are split 50/50 or divided unevenly. One spouse might be awarded a larger share of assets, plus alimony payments, but the possibility of this goes down if the marriage was a short one. Ask your lawyer about how these aspects of the divorce case tend to go in your jurisdiction. 

What Are the Separation Rules?

If you are considering separation as an option instead of a divorce, you'll definitely want to check what laws your state has about whether they legally recognize separation or not. Either way, this is a good jumping off point for speaking with your lawyer about what will happen with your estate and what you should do after the divorce to protect your estate from a spouse (and reallocate assets).

How Strictly Are Laws Followed?

Finally, in some areas there is more emphasis placed on precedent, while in others, judges use their judgment more freely in each case. That affects whether you are appealing to law or to persuasion. 

A lawyer from a firm like Grafton Law Office will help you address some of these questions upfront about divorce law because they will all affect your strategies for proceeding in a divorce. Whether you want to protect and keep as much of your assets as you can, protect yourself against a greedy or vengeful spouse, or even provide for a fair and level-headed divorce, you'll want to know how your state laws affect what you can and can't do.