In the United States, married couples are allowed to end a marriage by filing for a fault or no-fault divorce. In the past, most states only granted fault-based divorces, but today every state has adopted a no-fault form of divorce. Divorce in the United States is a legal process in which a judge or other authority dissolves an existing marriage between two people. Divorce restores people to single status and allows them to marry other people.
In the United States, marriage and divorce are under the jurisdiction of state governments, not the federal government. Mississippi, South Dakota, and Tennessee are the only states that require mutual consent for no-fault divorce. Before finalizing your divorce, you and your spouse are required by law to resolve some important issues. The laws of the states of residence at the time of the divorce apply, not those of the place where the couple married.
In addition to other dynamics, local traditions, customs and cultural values can have a substantial impact on the consequences of a divorce. Otherwise, the court may deny your divorce petition or stay your case if you don't meet the requirements in your state. All states offer divorcing spouses the option of filing a no-fault divorce, which means that neither spouse is responsible for the breakup. To ensure that a particular divorce serves the interests of public policy, some states require a cooling-off period, which prescribes a period after legal separation that spouses must endure before they can begin divorce proceedings.
You and your spouse can negotiate and agree on these issues, either on your own or with the help of divorce mediation. In other words, you cannot get divorced in any other state, including the state in which you were married, but only in the state where you have actual residence. You can also use the DIY (do-it-yourself) Uncontested Divorce Program if you are filing for an uncontested divorce, your marriage has ended for at least six months, there are no children under the age of 21, and all spousal property issues, including debt, have been resolved. When you file for divorce, the court allows you to ask the court for temporary court orders for child custody, child support, and spousal support.
While you can't get a divorce in Family Court, Family Court judges hear cases related to child abuse and neglect (child protection), adoption, child custody and visitation, support, domestic violence, guardianship, juvenile delinquency, parentage, and people in need of supervision (PINS). However, if your state considers fault when dividing marital assets or when evaluating the need for alimony, filing a fault-based divorce might be a good option. Many couples can complete the process without hiring an attorney, either on their own or with the help of mediation, an online divorce service, or both (more on this below). A summary (or simple) divorce, available in some jurisdictions, is used when the spouses meet certain eligibility requirements or can agree on key issues beforehand.
No-fault divorce is a simplified process that helps couples obtain a divorce without the need for evidence, testimony, or expert witnesses to prove that one spouse is guilty of spousal misconduct.