What Is Involved in a Divorce Judgment?

N. Madison
N. Madison

A divorce judgment is a court order that dissolves a marriage. To get to the point at which a divorce is granted, a person usually has to file a complaint to initiate divorce proceedings. Then, his spouse is given the opportunity to respond to the complaint. Depending on the unique circumstances under which people are divorcing, a couple may go to court to hash out the details of the divorce or come to an agreement on their own. Once the details of the divorce are settled, a divorce judgment is granted and the parties are legally divorced.

A divorce judgment dissolves a marriage.
A divorce judgment dissolves a marriage.

When a party in a marriage wants a divorce, he seeks a divorce judgment. A divorce judgment means the spouses in a marriage have finalized the matters related to their marriage and a divorce has been granted. In order to seek a divorce judgment, one of the spouses usually files a divorce complaint and the other one responds to it. He may respond by agreeing to the divorce or by contesting it. If the spouses cannot agree, a judge usually makes a final decision on granting the divorce.

The path taken to secure a divorce judgment depends on the couple.
The path taken to secure a divorce judgment depends on the couple.

The path taken to secure a divorce judgment depends, in part, on the couple. Sometimes a couple agrees not only about ending the marriage, but also about splitting marital assets and caring for children. In such a case, a judge may simply approve their agreement and grant the divorce. When the couple cannot agree, however, a judge may preside over a divorce trial and make decisions regarding the division of assets, custody, child support, and alimony.

A custody battle might be involved in a divorce judgement for couples with children.
A custody battle might be involved in a divorce judgement for couples with children.

In some places, a person can also secure a default divorce judgment. This occurs when one spouse files a divorce complaint and the other spouse, who is named the defendant in the case, is properly notified of the proceedings but chooses not to respond. In such a case, the defendant is given a specific amount of time in which to respond. If he fails to do so, the court usually grants a default judgment on behalf of the plaintiff. This basically means the plaintiff wins his case.

The procedure for seeking a divorce and the types of divorce that are available differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions, for example, grant only no-fault divorces while others establish fault. Interestingly, there are even some jurisdictions that allow spouses to finalize their divorces through the mail while others require court appearances.

Although all 50 U.S. states allow no-fault divorces, the law is interpreted differently from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Although all 50 U.S. states allow no-fault divorces, the law is interpreted differently from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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