The legal process for divorce may also involve issues of spousal support, child custody, child support, distribution of property and division of debt, though these matters are usually only ancillary or consequential to the dissolution of the marriage.In all but one state, and even in that state in most cases, a divorce must be certified by a court of law to become effective.Less adversarial approaches to divorce settlements include mediation and collaborative divorce, which negotiate mutually acceptable resolution to conflicts. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that from 1975 to 1988 in the US, in families with children present, wives file for divorce in approximately two-thirds of cases.Prior to the latter decades of the 20th century, a spouse seeking divorce in most states had to show a "fault" such as abandonment, cruelty, incurable mental illness, or adultery. In populous New York State, where adultery was the easiest grounds for divorce, attorneys would provide a package consisting of a prostitute and a photographer, with whose product divorce could be obtained. In 1975, 71.4% of the cases were filed by women, and in 1988, 65% were filed by women.For example, couples who choose to undertake a covenant marriage may be required to undergo counseling before a divorce can be granted, or to submit their conflicts to mediation.In states lacking such provisions, some couples sign contracts undertaking the same obligations.
Comparative rectitude is a doctrine used to determine which spouse is more at fault when both spouses are guilty of breaches.Under a no-fault divorce system the dissolution of a marriage does not require an allegation or proof of fault of either party.Only three states (Mississippi, South Dakota and Tennessee) require mutual consent (in Tennessee it is needed only in certain circumstances) for a no-fault divorce to be granted.Like marriage, divorce in the United States is under the jurisdiction of state governments, not the federal government.Divorce or "dissolution of marriage" is a legal process in which a judge or other authority dissolves the bonds of matrimony existing between two persons, thus restoring them to the status of being single and permitting them to marry other individuals.