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Divorce

Annulment and the “Relation Back” Doctrine

By its legal definition, the "relation back doctrine" enables a plaintiff to correct a pleading error, by adding either a new claim or a new party, after the expiration of the statutory limitation period. In some cases, spouses who are parties to subsequent marriages have attempted to assert the "relation back" doctrine to persuade courts to reinstate/reinforce alimony or maintenance payments from their previous marriage(s).

Defenses in Fault-based Divorce: Condonation and Reconciliation

States traditionally have considered condonation and reconciliation to be common law affirmative defenses to fault-based divorce actions. Under that scenario, the defendant was required to plead and prove the defense. In states that allow fault-based divorce and that have comprehensive divorce statutes, the general movement has been to limit or eliminate common law divorce defenses such as condonation and reconciliation.

Dischargeability in Bankruptcy of Obligations for Alimony, Domestic Support, and Maintenance

Dischargeability of debt is one of the core principles in bankruptcy law, and it plays a large part in the "fresh start" for debtors. Discharge cancels debt and stops collection activity for the discharged debt. There are a variety of debts that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, including alimony and child support.

Property Division in Divorce: Partition

For purposes of divorce, "partition" is a legal process that divides property, usually real property, into fractional shares for the spouses. Divorce or legal separation establishes grounds for partition in a divorce for jointly-owned marital assets of the spouses.

Valuation of Non-Economic Contributions with Respect to Property Division in Divorce

The concept of equitable distribution of marital property takes into consideration both economic and non-economic contribution of the spouses towards marital property acquisition. During divorce, all marital property is divided between the spouses according to the distribution scheme available in the state where the divorce occurs. Unequal division between spouses can result from factors such as the length of the marriage, the property brought to the marriage by each party, whether one party has substantial assets not subject to division, the parties’ contributions to the marriage, and other factors. Spouses’ non-economic contributions have become a major factor in the division of marital assets during divorce. Sometimes, they are mentioned as the "services rendered by a spouse." Non-economic contributions become a critical factor in cases where the contributing spouse does not work at all.

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