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Sometimes, married people may want to separate. A divorce makes their marriage (being married) come to an end in the eyes of the law, and after this they are not married. The law of divorce is different in every country. Only two countries have no law of divorce, The Philippines and The Vatican. In the Philippines, married people are not able to end their relation, but it is possible for them to say they were never married for example, because of an error. Catholicism teaches that divorce is very bad. (see Gospel of Matthew 5:31-32 and the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraphs 2382-2386)
In general, a judge is necessary to get divorced. At the same time, there may be decisions about these questions:
- who would be right to give money to the other person?
- who would be right to make payments to help the sons and daughters?
- who is responsible for the sons and daughters?
- who will have property and debts?
In some countries, a married person is not able to get married again. This is because they can only be married to only one person. The divorce makes it possible for them to get married again.
Systems of law may have two sorts of divorce
The laws are different in every country, but usually there are two ways reasons for a divorce in law, because of a bad act by one person and divorce with no bad act. In some countries it is important who did the bad act. This may have an effect on decisions about the money and property of the two people. Normally a divorce comes in force some time after the decision of approval.
Divorce with no bad act
Under this system, divorce is possible with no argument about a bad act by one of the married people. In some countries it is enough to make a statement that the relation is broken and it is not possible for it to be fixed. This is true in the United States for example. It is not necessary to say that one of the married people was responsible. The system lets two married people make a request together or only one.
Divorce with facts in support of a bad act by one person
In most systems of law it is necessary to give facts about a bad act by one married person to get a divorce. The person may give arguments against the decision. Examples of this sort of reason for a divorce are:
- One person did violent or unsafe acts against the other person or their sons or daughters
- addiction (where the person is dependent on a substance)
- crimes or support for crimes by other people
- the other person was untrue
- the other person got married a second time
- the other person went far from the family with no reason
Different ways of getting a divorce
In some systems it is possible to get a quick divorce with simple rules. The important questions then are:
- Were they married for a short time? (normally less than 5 years)
- Do they have sons or daughters? If yes, is there an agreement about who is responsible for them?
- Do the people have a house or land?
- Does their common property have a low value in money?
- Does the separate property of the two persons have a low value?
Divorce with no argument
About 95% of divorces in the United States are without argument because the two people are able to come to an agreement about the property, their sons and daughters, and other questions. The agreement may be made with the help of lawyers (experts on laws).
In some countries, there are special systems which give help to people. For example, they are able to go a hearing with a judge but no lawyers. Lawyers may have discussions with the people to make an agreement. In some systems, an expert with experience of divorces makes decisions in place of a judge. In Russia two people are able to get a divorce in the office where the government keeps records of births marriages and deaths. One person or the two married persons make the request and it will be given if:
- they are in agreement about the divorce; and
- they do not have sons or daughters less than 18 years old.
Then, the office will give knowledge of the request to the other person. After this time, the other person has one month to make an argument in writing against the request. Then the office will put a stop to the request.
A divorce can be very stressful; some people become depressed or sad after a divorce. If there are children, the children may also feel sad when the parents are divorced. However, there are many resources that can help people who are divorcing, such as therapists, counsellors, books, and DVDs.
The biggest impact is always felt the children who are often force to grow up with only one parent. This reaches its climax when the one parent taking care of the child is force to work all day and doesn't have time for the child. Children who have broken homes are twice as likely to drop out of high school dropout If the parents re-marry, the children of their new husband or wife are their stepchildren. "Step-" can be put before any relation to show it is from another marriage. If there are children in the new marriage, children from a former marriage are called half-brothers or half-sisters, since they are "half" related.
- Armchair Advice - Divorce Information UK specific information & advice on divorce.