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Questions on Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act

Knowing if your state follows the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act is important when you are considering filing for a divorce claim, seeking spousal support and so on. If you have questions with regard to the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, you can ask Family Lawyers on JustAnswer for quick and insightful answers. Below are a few questions answered by Family Lawyers on the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act.

Can adultery, as the cause of a couple’s separation, hinder a claim for alimony?

Awarding alimony is not like awarding child support which is based on specific monetary guidelines. Courts, instead, enjoy wider discretion in deciding whether a spouse should get alimony and if so, how much he/she should get and for how long a period should that money be paid for.

Under the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, courts are required to look at many factors. Some of these include for how long either spouse has been unemployed, what the condition of the current labor market is like, how long it will take before a spouse becomes qualified to work, the duration of the marriage and whether the spouse asking for child support is the legal parent or custodial parent of the child.

A few additional factors that they take into consideration include the current financial strength of each spouse in terms of money and property, the physical condition and age of the spouse that seeks support, and the standard of living enjoyed by the couple when they were married. In all of this, adultery may be considered a factor, but certainly not a major one, that would decide an alimony settlement.

I lived with a man -- who was and is still married to someone else -- together with my daughter for nine years in an apartment in New York. Do I have any rights to claim financial support from him?

New York does not have any laws with regard to a “putative” spouse. If by any chance you do have a contractual agreement with this man to provide you support, then there is a possibility that you could sue him based on breach of contract. But, most likely, you do not have a case solely based on the fact that you lived with him for nine years. In certain other states though, under the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, even if there is no legal marriage, a person who believes that they were in a marital relationship with another person could claim a share in the other person’s assets.

I live in Arkansas and was wondering if I could get spousal support after only four years of being married?

It is possible that you might get support but, in most cases, you would have to be married for at least five years to get two and half years of spousal support. If you could delay filing till you reach the five year mark, it could work to your advantage.

The law states the following: “In determining spousal support the court will consider many factors, including the amount of money and property each spouse currently has, their individual income, the age and physical condition of the spouse seeking support, the standard of living during the marriage, and how long the parties were married.

“Unlike child support, which is based on specific monetary guidelines, courts have broad discretion in determining whether to award alimony and, if so, how much and for how long.

“The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, requires courts consider how long it's been since either of the spouses have worked, the condition of the current labor market, how long it will take for a spouse to become qualified for employment, the length of the marriage and whether the spouse seeking the child support is the custodial or legal parent of a child."

Every state has different policies on marriage and divorce. To get a clearer understanding of what your legal rights are, present the details of your case before Family Lawyers on JustAnswer.

I am a U.S. soldier working in Korea. I got married at the U.S. Embassy and want to get a divorce now. But my wife, who is here, refuses to sign my separation agreement and won’t leave the country until we get divorced. She has deeply affected my military career and things are just getting worse. What can I do?

If you want to divorce your spouse while residing in Korea, you will have to file for a Korean divorce. Otherwise, you will have to take leave to visit the U.S. and file for a divorce in the state where your home is, as per legal records. In case you do choose to get a Korean divorce, you will have to get it registered and legally recognized in a state that subscribes to the "The Uniform Act on Marriage and Divorce (1970, 1973).” All other states will accept your divorce only if you file for divorce again or process it through the courts. To add to this, foreign and internet divorces are not recognized or acted upon by the military services (DFAS). They only recognize divorces or decrees of the U.S., Guam, and Puerto Rico. Therefore, it is perhaps best for you to apply for leave and file divorce in the U.S.

Two sites that may be of help with regard to state department regulation on foreign divorces are:

Not all states subscribe to the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act. But understanding how it works will help you know what your rights are and how you can make the best out of a bad marriage. Get fast and affordable answers to queries that you may have on the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act by asking Family Lawyers on JustAnswer now.
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