Family Law-Divorce

Divorce in the USA

In the US, more than half of all marriages end in divorce. Divorce is never pleasant, even when both sides agree that this is the best.

In terms of mental health in the US, divorce is one of the main causes of depression and stress. One of the key points about which it is worth repeating: the laws for marriage and for divorce are different in all 50 US states.
Features of divorce in the US

There is no single federal divorce law. Ending a marriage legally can be relatively simple in some states, or may be associated with complex litigation in others.

Let’s assume that the spouses have come to an agreement on the forthcoming divorce and are completely satisfied with its conditions.

However, one agreement is not enough — divorce should be conducted through the court.

First of all, the applicant for divorce must demonstrate good reasons for the divorce. In his application to the court, he must bring and explain the facts that would serve as the reason why he believes that the marriage should be terminated. After that, the respondent will receive a notification of the divorce proceedings initiated and the call to the family survey certificate. If the answer does not reach the court within the prescribed time limit (30 days in California), the court from this automatically makes a conclusion that the opposing party does not contest the terms of the divorce. But even in this case, the other spouse reserves the right to make a counterclaim if he has his own grounds for divorce.

An attempt to resolve the dispute peacefully, for example, on the division of property, is welcomed by the court. If such an agreement is reached on divorce in America, there is no problem.

If the spouses do not reach an agreement on the conditions of the divorce, the case goes to court. In any case, the time for consideration of a case depends on the claimed requirements, the required evidence, and can range from one meeting to several months.

For foreigners who are bred in the USA, you need to know a few nuances. Thus, persons who marry a US citizen receive a conditional permanent residence or so-called conditional permanent residency. A year later, it is necessary to file a joint petition, form I-751 on replacing the temporary green card with a permanent one. If it is satisfied, the spouse-foreigner gets the right to unconditional and unlimited permanent residence in the USA.

If the green card has already been received, the divorce does not affect the status of the foreign spouse in any way. He calmly continues to live in the United States after a divorce, to work and enjoy the full rights of a citizen. If the permanent green card is not received, then the divorce can end badly, more precisely after it can follow the deportation, if such a decision is made by the Migration Board.

There is another rule that states that if a foreign spouse is unable to maintain a marriage within three years after obtaining the right to permanent residence, he or she loses the privilege of accelerated naturalization (5 years).

US Property Section

Division of property in the US is a long process. Everything depends on the availability of jointly acquired property, the number of years lived, etc. If the couple agree — this is the simplest option. Ge is much easier if there is a marriage contract and all the nuances are negotiated.

By the way, under the court’s decision, the ex-husband may be obliged to pay his wife temporary maintenance. Say, the couple got married soon after leaving school. First, both worked, and then the children appeared. The wife had to leave work to look after the children. Now both for 30 years, you have two children aged 2 and 5 years. If such a couple breaks up, the husband will have to pay alimony not only to the children, but also to the wife. All this time he made a career, and she was forced to look after the farm and lose her qualifications. But these alimony are not life-long, but are appointed for a period until the woman finds a job.

The period of receipt of alimony, appointed by the court, can be short, for example, one year. But it can also be much longer: say, ten years. The term will depend on what kind of education you will need to achieve, from market demand for your professional skills, from your responsibilities for caring for minor children and other factors. If by the end of the appointed term of child support you have not been able to find a job, you can apply to the court with a request to extend this period, but you will need to indicate a good reason why you could not find a livelihood.

All monetary payments must be agreed (and claims for them are claimed) in the decision of the national (US) court. It is impossible to obtain them on the territory of the Russian Federation.

If the former spouse remarries, she loses the right to receive such alimony.

The amount of alimony depends on the laws of the state. In general, among the factors that affect the amount, the following are taken into account: the age and health status of both parties, the duration of marriage, the ability of both spouses to feed themselves, the degree of responsibility to underage children, the income of the head of family and the way of life of the family during the marriage. Alimony should provide the former spouse about the same standard of living that this side has become accustomed to during the marriage. Therefore, if you are left without income, the court will assign you a livelihood in the amount that provides your former standard of living, albeit for a limited period of time.

Children when divorced in the US

One of the most difficult issues of family law in the United States is the issue of raising a child after the parents’ divorce.

One of the main principles of US social policy is the recognition of the «right of the child to communicate with both parents, receiving care and support from both parents, the right to make decisions, based on the experience of both parents. In no case can the child be deprived of this right, even the recognition of a family of needy parents divorced. »

As a rule, when determining the procedure for exercising parental rights after divorce, the courts of most states are guided by the category of the child’s interests.

The criterion of conformity to the interests of the child does not limit the rights of parents to raise children, because the process of education should be carried out primarily in the best interests of children.

It also takes into account the desire of the child himself to live with a parent (if the court determines that he is old enough to make an informed preference). In most states, courts are required to take into account the desire of a child who has reached the age of 12 years, if it meets his interests. Two states (Georgia and West Virginia) establish that a child who has reached the age of 14.

Family courts of some states, considering the criterion of the emotional connection of the child with each of the parents, give preference to the parent, who took care of the child most during the period of residence by a single family. Recently, the psychological doctrine notes the importance of preserving the interaction between the child and the parent, who cares more about it, since this is important for the successful socialization of the child, including for his physical and mental development.

When deciding which of the parents cares about the child most, courts focus on direct parental responsibilities, such as:

— hygienic procedures for the care of a child;

— making menu and cooking for the child;

— Providing age-appropriate and seasonal clothing, keeping it clean;

— measures taken to protect the health of the child;

— Assisting the child with homework;

— teaching the child the skills of reading, writing and mathematics.

According to the current legislation of almost all states, mothers and fathers have an equal right to exercise parental rights after the divorce. However, when determining the question with whom the child will live after the divorce, the courts consider the age and sex criteria of the child. Usually, preference is given to mothers if the child is a minor or a female.