What Are My Rights in a Divorce, and How Can I Assert Them?
Are you wondering, “What are my rights in a divorce?” We’ll help you find out!
DoNotPay will inform you about your rights in a divorce and the ways you can exercise them. If you opt for an uncontested divorce, you’ll be able to spell out all your rights and wishes while being mindful of your spouse’s needs as well. An uncontested divorce will help you avoid lawyers and court hearings too.
One of the most important uncontested divorce papers is a marital settlement agreement—a document that you’ll use to assert your rights. We can help you create one in under five minutes! to draw up your divorce settlement agreement today.
Do Reasons for a Divorce Affect My Rights?
There are two types of divorce based on the grounds:
- Fault-based divorce
- No-fault divorce
Do I Have More Legal Rights in a Divorce on Fault Grounds?
At-fault divorce is based on misconduct by one of the spouses who caused the marriage to fail. The common fault-based grounds for divorce are:
- Cruel treatment
- Incurable insanity
Many states don’t recognize fault-based divorces any longer—the ones that do are as follows:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
In most fault-based divorce cases, the spouse who didn’t cause the marriage to end will have more rights when it comes to alimony, custody, division of assets, and similar.
What Are My Rights in a No-Fault Divorce?
A no-fault divorce is based on irreconcilable differences that caused the breakup of marriage. This means that a spouse filing for divorce doesn’t have to prove that the other spouse is responsible for the marriage breakdown.
Legal Rights in a Divorce
The judge considers both spouses' legal rights when determining the following matters:
Who Gets the Custody of the Children?
Factors that the court considers when determining custody are as follows:
- Who the primary caregiver is
- Which parent is best able to meet the child’s needs
- Who is most willing to accept parental responsibilities
Who Pays for Child Support, and Which Rights Do Custodial Parents Have?
Both parents have a legal duty to support their dependent kids. The term “parent” includes biological parents, adoptive parents, and people who become parents as a result of artificial conception. A parent is obligated to support their child even if they:
- No longer live with the child
- Don’t see the child anymore
- Aren’t married to the other parent
- Don’t live with the other parent anymore
In most cases, the non-custodial parent pays child support to the parent who has custody of the kids. The parent who has custody will have the right to make major life decisions, such as:
- Health care
- Religious affiliation
Who Has the Right to Spousal Support?
The court can order one of the spouses to pay alimony to the spouse who was dependent throughout the marriage. You are considered dependent if you:
- Relied on your spouse for financial support
- Don’t have any property to provide for your needs—this includes marital property
- Can’t support yourself through work
- Can’t work because you have a child that needs your undivided attention
The judge will consider the following factors to determine whether you’ll get alimony:
- The complete financial resources you have (including marital and separate property)
- Additional education or training you may need to find a job
- The standard of living that was established during your marriage
- Age and mental and physical health of both parties
- The ability of your spouse to meet their own needs while paying the alimony
- The tax consequences of spousal support payments
- Any financial or other contribution made by either party to the education or training capacity of the other party
- Additional factors that the judge considers fair and appropriate
Alimony payments can start even before the divorce is finalized, which is known as temporary alimony. The court will award temporary alimony to the spouse who has temporary custody of the children.
The length of alimony will depend on the court’s decision. If the marriage lasted for 20 years or longer, there would be no limit on the duration of the spousal support.
Rights to Property
The property division in your divorce depends on whether you live in a community property state or equitable distribution state. Consult the following table for details:
|Community Property||Equitable Distribution|
|Community or marital property includes:
The court will divide the property into two equal parts by adding up the total value of marital assets and granting each spouse an equal percentage
Why Should You Opt For an Uncontested Divorce?
If you don’t want the court to decide the terms of your divorce, you should get an uncontested marriage dissolution—it will cost you less than a contested one. In this type of divorce, you and your spouse will work together to make a marital settlement agreement that will spell out all these terms of your marriage dissolution. You’ll be able to decide how it will play out.
To file for an uncontested divorce and get an out-of-court settlement, you and your spouse will have to agree on every crucial issue. If you still can’t see eye to eye on certain matters, you should consider mediation—a process that can help you settle all your differences in a few sessions. Even though you’ll need to pay for mediation, you’ll still end up with fewer expenses than you would in a contested marriage dissolution.
Here are the steps you need to take if you want to file for an uncontested and friendly divorce:
- Create a divorce settlement agreement
- Collect and file all the necessary paperwork (you can find the forms online)
- Pay any incurring fees
- Serve your spouse
Once you do that, you have to wait for your spouse’s response.
DoNotPay Helps You Create a Rock-Solid Divorce Settlement Agreement
Once you decide to go with an uncontested divorce, you’ll need a well-written divorce settlement agreement. DoNotPay can draft a legally formatted and error-free divorce settlement agreement within minutes. and follow the steps below:
- Enter Divorce Settlement Agreement into our search box and open the product
- Answer some questions so we can personalize your document
- Notify us if you need a notary
We will generate a divorce settlement agreement customized to your needs. Both you and your spouse must sign the document.
If you decide to get your agreement notarized with DoNotPay’s help, we’ll set an appointment with an online notary who will witness the signing remotely.
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Besides assisting you in seeking justice and security, DoNotPay can help you arrange DMV appointments, contest parking tickets, prepare divorce settlement agreements, and compose various legal documents.