Facts about divorce

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
A divorce is the dissolution of a valid marriage. The most common grounds for divorce are drug or alcohol addiction, adultery, cruelty, conviction of a crime, desertion, insanity, and nonsupport. A no-fault divorce isn't based on either spouse's fault but is based instead on an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, or when husband and wife have lived apart for a specified period of time. Before hiring an attorney, learn as much as you can about your family's finances, such as monthly costs of running the home, the income of you and your spouse, and the amount and location of savings accounts and insurance policies. This information will be important when you speak with an attorney and if you go to court. Friends and family members who've been divorced may refer you to an attorney who's qualified to deal with family law issues. Make sure different attorneys represent you and your spouse. You, your spouse, and your attorneys may be able to work out an out-of-court divorce settlement. However, if you're unable to reach a compromise, or if one or both parties refuse to disclose financial information, your divorce will be handled in court by a judge.

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