Divorce Law: ending of a marriage before the death of either spouse. A divorce must be certified by a court of law, as a legal action is needed to dissolve the prior legal act of marriage. In recent years, however, more federal legislation has been enacted affecting the rights and responsibilities of divorcing spouses. For example, federal welfare reform mandated the creation of child support guidelines in all 50 states in the 1980s. ERISA includes provisions for the division of qualified retirement accounts between divorcing spouses. The IRS established rules on the deductibility of alimony, and federal bankruptcy laws prohibit discharging in bankruptcy of alimony and child support obligations. COBRA allows a divorced spouse to obtain and maintain health insurance. The laws of the state(s) of residence at the time of divorce govern, not those of the location where the couple was married. All states recognize divorces granted by any other state. All states impose a minimum time of residence, Nevada currently being the shortest at 6 weeks.
Family law: an area of the law that deals with family-related issues and domestic relations including, but not limited to:
· the nature of marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships;
· issues arising during marriage, including spousal abuse, legitimacy, adoption, surrogacy, child abuse, and child abduction
The termination of the relationship and ancillary matters including divorce, annulment, property settlements, alimony, and parental responsibility orders (in the United States, child custody and visitation, child support awards).