About Divorce

Divorce is an emotionally exhausting experience. It tends to pit two people, formerly in love, against each other as enemies. Many divorces are avoidable; others are deliberate. Some divorces result as a consequence of someone choosing the wrong partner. In the end, lives are uprooted and changed. Everybody has to adjust to a different life from the one with which they've grown comfortable.


The Romans built the basis of many of our divorce laws. After the Roman Empire, Church doctrine influenced divorce. Some kingdoms took this further and made it hard to get a divorce. In the 19th century, the state took over divorce matters. The no-fault divorce was added in the 20th century. Couples who couldn't fix their marriage were allowed to get a divorce without the need to establish fault. The argument needed to get a fault divorce remained consistent throughout time.


In a fault divorce, one spouse wronged the other. No-fault divorce seeks to dissolve a marriage. No one is at fault--the marriage just broke down. Spouses in disagreement about dividing marriage assets file a contested divorce. If they're in agreement, they file an uncontested divorce. Annulment involves ending a marriage that shouldn't have happened.


Spouses and children are adversely affected in the short run. The woman may find herself doing a job the man normally does, or hiring a contractor for certain projects. The man may find himself doing jobs the woman normally does. The kids will no longer benefit from both natural parents being present in the same place. The spouse with the kids may be awarded alimony, which is a percent of the other spouse's income. One of the spouses will likely leave the family home and maintain his or her own residence. This means that the former spouses will have less spending money and in turn have to lower their living standards to make ends meet.


Each spouse brings different expectations to the divorce proceedings. In the end, a judge or jury decides how the marriage gets dissolved. They'll listen to the testimony from both sides and bounce that against the divorce law. They'll also balance the needs of the state with the needs of the people getting divorced. The ultimate decision will not always match either spouse's expectations.


No two marriages are the same. The judges, lawyers, financial situations, circumstances and other factors will be different. Those about to get divorced should listen to their lawyer's projections of how the judge or jury will rule on their divorce case.


Divorce usually happens when one or both spouses realize that they're not compatible with each other. Before committing to a relationship, people must know themselves to help them identity what they're looking for and expect out of a partner. Once in the marriage, both spouses must always work to keep trust levels up. If there's constant fighting, both spouses should seek professional help. Spouses need to be best friends to each other--one they'd choose to hang out with for life.