Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
The legal termination of marriage. All US states require a spouse to identify a legal reason for requesting a divorce when that spouse files the divorce papers with the court. These reasons are referred to as grounds for a divorce.
The legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body.
Divorce is the dissolution of the contract of marriage in which both partners are still alive. In contrast, a marriage is automatically dissolved when one partner dies, or is presumed dead (see: Presumption of death).
The person seeking divorce is referred to in court proceedings as the ‘petitioner’, the other party the ‘respondent’. Of course, in many cases the divorce is uncontested, that is, accepted by both partners.
For the petition to succeed it will be necessary to show that the marriage has ‘broken down irretrievably’. This is a stricter criterion than accepted in many countries. To accept the claim of irretrievable breakdown, the petitioner will need to demonstrate one or more of the following:
If the divorce is granted, courts are empowered to order financial relief for either partner and the support of dependants.
If the remedy of divorce is not legally available, a court may still order a judicial separation (see: Judicial separation), possibly with financial relief.
In all cases of divorce where the divorced couple has children, issues of custody (see: Custody of children) and, in extreme cases, guardianship (see: Guardian) will arise. These may have to be settled by the courts; on the whole, the welfare of the children will be the overriding concern here, not the rights or wrongs of the parents.
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This glossary post was last updated: 22nd April, 2020 | 0 Views.