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Find FAQs related to divorce.
The following are deductions typically allowed against gross income:
Under most state laws, a divorce (or "dissolution") action must be filed and decided in court. Many states have a "no-fault divorce" policy. In other words, the courts are not concerned with which spouse was guilty of marital misconduct.
The following legal requirements are necessary to file for divorce in most states:
1. Residency: The spouse filing for divorce must have resided in the state and county for a certain period. Six months is a common state requirement, and three months is typical at the county level.
2. Waiting Period: Most states have a mandatory waiting period from the filing to the finalization of a divorce. In other words, you cannot file and finalize a divorce on the same day. The average waiting period is 6 months but can be anywhere from 0 to 12 months. After the waiting period, the divorce is finalized and both parties are free to remarry.
3. Legal Grounds: States generally recognize two legal grounds for divorce: (1.) irreconcilable differences and (2.) separation. "Irreconcilable differences" simply means there are marital difficulties that cannot be reconciled and have led to the permanent breakdown of the marriage.
4. Jurisdictional Requirement: An action for divorce must be filed with the proper court. The appropriate court is typically in the county where either the wife or husband has resided for at least 3-6 months prior to filing for divorce.
On average, there is a zero to six month waiting period after the initial divorce petition is filed and served on the other spouse before a divorce becomes final. A judge may make a final ruling, or judgment, on the divorce prior to that date. This order will be effective immediately. However, the marriage is not finally dissolved, and the spouses may not re-marry, until after the waiting period.
During the period between the judge's order and the expiration of the waiting period, any action taken by either spouse is a separate act. In short, these decisions will no longer effect community property.
Of course, if a divorce cannot be resolved agreeably and requires litigation or a trial, it could take longer than six months to finalize.
Ready to start the process for an uncontested divorce? LegalZoom can help. Answer questions in our online questionnaire to get started. We check your answers for completeness and consistency, and send you a final packet with all of your divorce forms and instructions for how to use them.