Divorce in America

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Divorce is a legal term that denotes the end of a marriage. It is also the end of all duties and commitment between partners. The procedure is carried out on the basis of family laws. The laws differ from state to state, according to their specific requirements and preferences. The legal process of separation between two married individuals in America has many aspects such as social, economical and cultural issues. Following is a brief analysis about divorce in America.

The Causes of Divorce in America

The process can be taken on various grounds as per the Federal law of the country. There are number of causes that are explained in the family law. Some of them are as follows:

  • Infidelity of the partner: This is one of the common reasons to get separated from a spouse. If a partner is having intimate relationships outside marriage, it is considered to be adultery conducted by that person.
  • Mental harassment and physical violence: Any kind of violence, whether it is physical or emotional, is considered as a legal cause for dissolution.
  • Criminal background of the spouse: If a person has been cornered and arrested by law for a felony or any serious crime, the other spouse can opt for the legal process for ending their marriage under this circumstance.
  • Desertion or long-term separation: A person may be willingly staying away from a partner for a long time. In this case the other spouse has the right to apply for dissolution.

Apart from the fault grounds, legal separation may be granted on 'no-fault grounds' as well. That means a person can get separated from a partner on the ground of breakdown of marriage and major differences. A ' no-fault' case can be obtained without proving any partner guilty in the court.

The Types of Divorce in America

Divorce can be of many types. The type of dissolution completely depends on mutual relations between partners, cause for separation and present situations of the family. If partners are on good terms, there are chances of an uncontested case. If the partners are going through major conflicts, then a contested case is inevitable. Following are some kinds of legal processes that a person can opt for:

  • Contested case: This type of dissolution involves a lengthy court procedure that is represented by lawyers for both the parties. Important issues like alimony, spousal support, parental support are fought over with the help of attorneys. The court gives a final decision after hearing a case.
  • Mutual dissolution or Uncontested case: This is a separation that is taken by mutual agreement between the partners. The separation related matters are solved through discussion and by submitting the agreement in the court.
  • Collaborative dissolution: This type of dissolution is carried out on the basis of collaborative laws. There is a four-party discussion over all the problems between couples and the solutions are concluded at the end. These solutions are then submitted in the court to get a final order on marital dissolution.

Some statistics related to Divorce Rate in USA

In America, there were 4.3 million adults who were legally separated till 1970 and this number escalated to 17.4 million by 1994. Another study indicates that in 1970, 3 percent of all individuals, who had completed 18 years, were separated. This number also soared to 9 percent in 1994.

It may be noted that the separation rate in the United States changes depending on the race, amount of income, region and religious beliefs. In 2002, it was observed that the divorce rate for Hispanics was 7.6 percent, for African-Americans it was 11.3 percent and for whites it was 9.8 percent.

The Effect of Economical and Religious Conditions on separation

The possibility of separation on legal basis within 10 years of marriage was more in households, which had a total income of less than 25,000 USD, than the higher income group. The sum of spousal and child support grossed to 40 billion USD in 2002. This amount was disbursed by 7.8 million Americans and out of these, 84 percent payers were male. As far as religious beliefs were concerned, the 'Bible Belt' states demonstrated some of the highest rates in the nation.

Statistics Regarding Children

Regarding children, the following facts concerning split between spouses were obtained after a survey:

  • The children who resided with never married mothers exhibited a greater risk of speech defects.
  • The children who lived with formerly married mothers had a 50 percent greater likelihood of suffering from asthma during the preceding 12 months.
  • The health vulnerability of children of separated parents was 20 to 30 percent more than those residing with both biological parents.

In 2003, 56.2 percent custodial fathers and 43.7 percent custodial mothers were either divorced or separated.

The percentage of children in America that were raised by both biological parents was 63. This is the lowest statistic in the Western World.

Thus, this is a brief introduction to the divorce rate in America.

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