Divorce (or the dissolution of marriage) is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties (unlike annulment, which declares the marriage null and void). Divorce laws vary considerably around the world, but in most countries it requires the sanction of a court or other authority in a legal process. The legal process of divorce may also involve issues of alimony (spousal support), child custody, child support, distribution of property, and division of debt. In most countries monogamy is required by law, so divorce allows each former partner to marry another; where polygyny is legal but polyandry is not, divorce allows the woman to marry a new husband.
Divorce is the legal breakup of a marriage. Almost thirty percent of all U.S. marriages end in divorce. Like every major life change, divorce is stressful. It affects finances, living arrangements, household jobs, schedules and more. If the family includes children, they may be deeply affected.
A number of countries have since the 1970s legislated to permit divorce, including Italy (1970), Spain (1981), Ireland (1996) and Malta (2010). Today, the only countries which do not allow divorce are the Philippines (though Muslims have the right to divorce) and the Vatican City, an ecclesiastical state, which has no procedure for divorce.
"Divorcing one's parents" is a term sometimes used to refer to emancipation of minors.
Famous quotes containing the word divorce:
“Counsel men to discipline their children, but not to divorce their wives.”
“Ever since you came back from Tibet Ive had a feeling you were planning to divorce me and marry a laboratory.”
—John Colton (18861946)
“This habit of free speaking at ladies lunches has impaired society; it has doubtless led to many of the tragedies of divorce and marital unhappiness. Could society be deaf and dumb and Congress abolished for a season, what a happy and peaceful life one could lead!”
—M. E. W. Sherwood (18261903)