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Q: Do grandparents have automatic visitation rights after a divorce?
A: Grandparents do not have automatic visitation rights after divorce. Each state has varying levels of laws and regulations which deal with this matter. So, check with your local courts, or an attorney to get specific information about your state.
Q: What is joint custody?
A: Joint custody is a court order which grants both parents of a child (or children) custody. This means that both parents have full physical and/or legal custody of a child, as ordered by a court.
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Q: What is common law marriage?
A: A common law marriage is when a couple which conducts the familial, social, and financial aspects of their relationship in a manner consistent with that of a married couple, without having a formal ceremony or filing for a marriage license. The laws for common law marriage vary by state, so consult your attorney for specific details.
Q: How is it determined which parent gets custody of a child?
A: If the child parents are not able to agree upon an arrangement, the court will decide on custodial matters and visitation rights based on what is deemed in the best interest of the child. This is determined based on the circumstances of each specific case.
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Q: What is an annulment?
A: An annulment, similar to divorce, is a legal procedure which results in the dissolution of a marriage. Unlike divorce, an annulment has retroactive impact, rendering a marriage null and void from its inception.
Q: What is legal separation?
A: A legal separation is a process which is overseen by a court and has specific rules, requirements, rights, and obligations for the involved parties, but does not dissolve the marriage permanently.
Q: What legal grounds do I need to obtain a divorce?
A: You do not need a reason to obtain a divorce as all states offer no-fault divorce; however, based on your attorney’s advice, and your specific situation, you may decide to opt for filing a fault divorce.
Q: Can I date while going through a divorce?
A: It is generally not a good idea to date before a divorce is finalized. The consequences are dependent on state law, so it is important to consult your attorney before dating while your divorce is not final.
Q: What is the difference between joint physical and joint legal custody?
A: Joint physical custody grants both parents the right to have the child (children) live with them. The actual logistics are either decided among the divorced parents, or by a court of law. Joint legal custody gives both parents the right to be a full participant in decisions which impacts the child; however, the child spends most of her time with one parent.
Q: What is alimony?
A: Alimony is a legal mandate, by a court of law, on a person to provide financial support to their spouse after legal separation or divorce.