In recent years, children have increasingly been called upon to be witnesses in their parents’ divorce proceedings. In some contested fault-based divorces, children have supplied testimony as to cruelty or adultery by one of the spouses. In other instances, children have been a part of custody matters, including offering testimony as to being poorly supervised by one of their parents and as to any neglectful conditions in the family home.
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.
Annulment is very different from divorce, even though some grounds for annulment are similar to divorce. Some grounds available in divorce are not available in annulment. In most states, if a spouse is convicted for a serious crime and imprisoned consecutively for three years, imprisonment can be a ground for a divorce. While imprisonment is generally not a ground for annulment of marriage, in some states, if the defendant conceals his or her criminal record such as conviction and imprisonment from another spouse, this is considered fraud and can be grounds for annulment. Further, in some states, inmates imprisoned for life may not marry.
A divorce decree can facilitate an enforcement order, establish rights for both the parties, award custody and enable visitation rights, grant alimony, and distribute property between the parties. Considering the nature of divorce cases and the work involved in obtaining divorce, legal fees often differ from case to case. The fees can differ from city to city, state to state, and law firm to law firm. Preliminary meetings with counsel usually do not involve laborious effort, and usually amount to sorting the factual details. Courts take consideration of the parties’ ability to pay counsel fees before awarding fees. Despite the diversity in statutes, courts apply general principles and carefully analyze the parties’ financial status before awarding costs.
"Vacatur" is an order of a court which sets aside or annuls a proceeding. When a judgment of divorce is vacated, the marital rights and status of the parties are restored, and the parties are placed in the position in which they were before the divorce.