There are two types of divorce-- absolute and limited. An absolute divorce, (also called a "divorce a vinculo matrimonii" is a judicial termination of a marriage based on marital misconduct or other statutory cause arising after the marriage ceremony. As a result of an absolute divorce both parties' status becomes single again.
Several jurisdictions' statutes authorize limited divorces, or "divorce a mensa et thoro." The consequences of limited divorces will vary from state to state. Typically, a limited divorce is commonly referred to as a Separation Decree; the right to cohabitation is terminated but the marriage is undissolved and the status of the parties is not altered.
Many states have enacted what are called No-Fault Divorce Statutes. This is a response to the outdated Common Law Divorce which required proof in a court of law by the divorcing party that the divorcee had done one of several enumerated acts as sufficient grounds for the divorce. This entailed proving that the spouse had committed adultery, or engaged in some other unsavory activity. No-fault divorce eliminates this potentially embarrassing and undesirable requirement by providing for the dissolution of a marriage on a finding that the relationship is no longer viable.
In some situations annulment, if available may be a favorable option to divorce.
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