In the United States, a couple can be legally married in any state, and any married couple can also arrange a legal divorce in any state. To begin the divorce process, one of the married individuals must file for divorce in the county courthouse in which he or she resides. By doing so, a permanent legal record is created.
What is a Permanent Divorce Record?
A divorce record is a legal document that legally dissolves a marriage. It is a court document, usually drawn up by attorneys, that states the reason for the divorce and all the settlement agreements. Through this document, a married couple can have full legal protection of each individual’s interests. All assets acquired during the marriage are split, and spousal support payments are calculated, as well as child support payments if there are minor children resulting from the marriage.
Divorce processes differ from state to state. However, one person usually begins the process by filing a lawsuit and petitioning the court for the divorce. He or she then becomes the ‘Petitioner,’ while the other spouse becomes the ‘Respondent.’ With the help of a lawyer, the petitioner can state his or her demands from the divorce. The respondent usually has a certain time period to respond, and if no response is made, then the court will usually grant the divorce to the petitioner with all demands set forth.
If the respondent wishes to contest the divorce, or dispute the proposed settlement agreement, then litigation is involved where the two sides must negotiate a mutual agreement. If no settlement can be made, then the divorce goes to trial, where a judge will make the final decisions.
Once a final settlement made, the final divorce decree is created, filed, and signed by the county judge assigned to the case. This creates a public record of the terms of the divorce.
What Is Included In a Divorce Record?
The legal divorce record will have the following information:
• Full legal names of the petitioner and respondent
• The date that the divorce was filed
• The location where the divorce was filed
• The date the divorce became final
Other information that may be included:
• Credit card balance information from each individual
• Other debt disclosures
• Income tax returns
• A list of all assets and how they are divided
• Payment calculations and arrangements for spousal support and/or child support
How Can Divorce Records Be Useful?
Divorce records can usually be accessed by the public unless the decree has been sealed by court order.
Legal divorce records can be useful in a number of ways. Here are just a few:
• Verify that an individual is legally divorced
• Verify whether an individual was previously married
• Useful for helping to locate an individual
• Uncover previous spousal abuse
• Discover history of illegal acts
Thanks to our current digital age, public records, such as a divorce records, can be easily searched and accessed with the help of a background check company. Or you can do the research yourself for much less money.
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