Common Law Marriage and Divorce Differences Based on the States

Common Law Marriage and Divorce Differences Based on the States
Common Law Marriage and Divorce Differences Based on the States
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Common law marriage, as well as the divorce papers, proceedings, and required documentation, vary heavily from state to state.

California boasts one of the highest divorce rates and recognizes two forms of divorce as established under California law: no-fault and fault divorces. A no-fault divorce occurs when neither partner blames the other for initiating proceedings against each other, whereas fault divorce occurs when either person takes responsibility for ending their marriage in some form or fashion.

Filing for divorce in California requires both spouses to have been residents for at least six months prior to filing their petition for no-fault or fault divorce – with either option needing one spouse to cite “irreconcilable differences,” while in cases requiring proof such as cruelty, adultery or abandonment there will need to be one of more reasons given for each side.

Property division in California follows an equitable method, where assets will be equally distributed between spouses unless otherwise agreed upon. California also boasts the unique Common Property law, which dictates any asset acquired during marriage is equally owned by both partners, no matter whose funds were spent purchasing it or earning income that enabled its purchase.

California law centers around what’s best for children when awarding custody arrangements. Courts look at factors like health, education, and welfare when awarding custody to either parent. Both should receive joint custody unless it presents any threats to either of their safety.

Texas is the second-most populous state in the US, and Texas law recognizes both “No-fault” and “fault” divorce, though fault divorce is less frequent as it requires convincing evidence and more complex proof to establish.

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Texas follows California in that any property acquired during marriage is considered joint property and distributed according to just and right principles based on factors like earning capacity, educational background, and age of both partners involved when allocating assets among themselves.

Texas Law emphasizes the welfare of children in any divorce proceedings. Texas encourages both parties to work collaboratively when making decisions concerning child custody and visitation arrangements for their respective children, using a parenting plan as the tool of decision. A parenting plan sets forth where and with whom your children will reside, as well as the visiting rights of each parent as well as the financial needs of your children.

New York

New York, as one of the three most populous states, boasts its own set of marriage and divorce laws that differ significantly from others in America. New York is considered a “No-fault” state, meaning spouses don’t need to provide evidence of wrongdoing before seeking a divorce; if someone claims there was mistreatment, then evidence must be provided as part of any potential filing for fault-based divorce filings.

New York boasts one of the shortest residency requirements for filing for divorce; either spouse must have resided there at least two years prior to filing their petition for separation; otherwise, they must have lived here one year beforehand.

New York is an equitable distribution state, meaning the courts divide property equitably based on what’s fair and just. When making their determination, courts take into consideration factors like length of marriage, income/earning capacity of each spouse, and the quality of living during marriage.

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New York has stringent policies when it comes to child custody matters, taking the best interests of each child into consideration when making custody decisions. Physical custody (where the child resides) and legal custody (who decides about them). Joint custody arrangements may also be possible depending on their impact on each individual child.

Florida, which ranks fourth-most populous among US states, recognizes both no-fault and fault divorce processes. With no-fault, either spouse can file for separation citing irreconcilable differences; with fault divorces, however, one party must prove they were at fault in leading to its breakdown.

Florida law sets residency requirements for divorce at six months. It follows an equitable distribution model, which involves courts allocating property and debts fairly according to factors like each party’s contribution during the marriage, the length of the union, and the needs and desires of each partner.

Florida law mandates that both parents work collaboratively on creating a parenting plan after divorce and use this document as the basis for custody determination and visitation rights for both. Florida may award one parent equal time-sharing or sole custody depending on individual cases.

Illinois, as the fifth-most populous US state, offers unique laws when it comes to marriage and divorce. Illinois law recognizes both “No-fault” and “fault” divorce; in a no-fault situation, either spouse can file for it by citing irreconcilable differences; with fault divorces, however, the petitioner must prove misconduct caused the breakdown of marriage before filing.

Illinois follows an equitable distribution principle; thus, courts divide property in accordance with factors like each party’s economic circumstances, contributions made towards marriage, and earning capacity when allocating it according to equitable distribution laws.

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Illinois law puts children first when making custody and visitation decisions, taking into consideration factors like their ages and preferences, parents’ mental and physical health statuses, as roles played within their lives by each. Illinois encourages parents to create parenting plans detailing custody/visitation arrangements to be used by courts as the basis of its rulings.


Marriage and divorce are vital parts of our lives that involve complex legal proceedings. Divorce procedures vary between states in the US and can be difficult for those involved, making informed decisions more challenging than necessary. Understanding differences in common marriage law and proceedings among states will assist with informed decision-making; for personalized advice based on personal circumstance, it’s recommended to consult an attorney.

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