Divorce Law Reference Tables

The Divorce Law Reference Tables provided in this area are primarily for researching state specific laws, cases, and statutes that are pertinent to issues related to divorce. Each law and reference table is designed to provide data on a state-by-state basis for easy reference and comparison.

Table 1 - State Divorce Law Tables: (Alimony/Spousal Support Factors, Custody Criteria, Child Support Guidelines, Grounds for Divorce and Residency Requirements, Property Division, and Third Party Visitation).

Table 2 - Relevance of Moral Conduct & Character in Custody Cases - The following table provides references to state statutes which are relevant to how marital conduct is considered and treated by the court when determining a child custody award.

Table 3 - Role of Marital Misconduct in Dividing Property - The following table provides references to state statutes which are relevant to how marital conduct is considered and treated by the court when determining the property distribution award upon divorce.

Table 4 - Property Classification Upon Divorce - The language of the state statutes must be examined to determine if certain property is subject to division. State property division statutes can vary, but there are two general models.

Table 5 - Property Valuation Date Upon Divorce - The Valuation Date represents the point in time when the marital property is being Appraised (Valued). This is very important because a property value can vary depending on the date used for valuation.

Table 6 - Date of Classification for Property Upon Divorce - The Date of Classification ( Also known as Cut-off Date or The Date the Marriage Ended ) represents the point in time when laws of each state consider that you and your spouse no longer can acquire marital property.

Table 7 - Normal Retirement Age - The Normal Retirement Age represents the point in time (as defined by the pension plan) when the pensionholder (employee) can stop working and start receiving normal retirement benefits.

Table 8 - Phone Numbers for Child Support Enforcement Offices - This is a list of the phone numbers (toll free if available) for each state child support enforcement agency.

Table 9 - Age of Emancipation for Child Support - This is the age when a parent is no longer required by law to pay child support (unless otherwise stated in an existing child support order). Child support may extend beyond the age of emancipation for reasons associated with secondary school expenses and/or extra ordinary medical expenses/conditions.

Table 10 - Child Support Guidelines for the High Income Parent(s) - The following table gives a brief description of how each jurisdiction in the United States establishes the guideline support amount in high income cases.

Table 11 - Child Support Guidelines Treatment of Low-Income Parents - Courts are often forced to deviate from standard child support guidelines when one or both parents are of low-income standards. Imputing income on a spouse to determine an adequate child support obligation is typically the first choice, but in severe poverty situations it is not always an option.

Table 12 - Child Support Deviations for Medical and Child Care Expenses - Courts are often forced to deviate from standard child support guidelines for extraordinary medical expenses and monthly child care expenses. These issues are often addressed after the initial calculation of support and then the court will deviate from the calculated amount on a case-by-case basis.

Table 13 - Statutory Duty of a Stepparent to Support a Stepchild - Under the common law, a stepparent has no duty to financially support a stepchild during the marriage to the child's natural parent merely by reason of the marriage. Stated otherwise, the relationship of stepparent and stepchild does not, in and of itself, impose any obligation of support.

Table 14 - UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act) & Statues of Limitations - The UIFSA proceeding for enforcement of arrearages, it is important to know the statute of limitations for enforcement of support under the law of both the forum state and the issuing state.

Table 15 - Stepparent's Right to Request Custody or Visitation - References to statutes and pertinent state specific cases involving the rights stepparents have to request the court for child custody or visitation rights.

Table 16 - Guardian Ad Litem Statutes in Divorce and Custody Proceedings - In contrast to the constitutionally mandated representation of children in abuse and neglect proceedings, the representation of children in divorce-related proceedings is not mandated by any rule of law.

Table 17 - Child's Name Change Standards - This table addresses specific factors the state court will consider when legally changing a child's name.

Table 18 - Enforceability of Domestic Partnership (Non-Marital) Agreements - This table addresses cases and statutes relating to the enforceability of express domestic partnership, or cohabitation, agreements.

Table 19 - Property Division and Spousal Support Reform - The primary goal of the property division column of the table is to list the year in which each state recognized property division as an absolute legal right, rather than a discretionary remedy.

Table 20 - Remarriage Waiting Period After Divorce is Final - A majority of the states do not have a mandatory waiting periods to remarry once a divorce is final, but some do and some states permit judges to use his or her discretion on a case-by-case basis.

Table 21 - Reconciliation Counseling Laws - Many states have put in place laws that permit a spouse to initiate marriage counseling prior to a divorce being finalized. Having these laws in place help save marriages.

Table 22 - Separation or Waiting Periods for No Fault Divorce - Many states have put in place laws that require a separation period before a no-fault divorce can be filed and/or granted by the court. These mandatory separation periods are put in place to allow for ample time for reconciliation.


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