February 12, 2004
Juris. Prerequisites: P or D residence/or grounds
Venue: Add’l bases for divorce: where P lives
Limited v. Absolute
Fault: Non-Filing Party’s Behavior
Actual v. Const. Desert. – 12 mon. sep.
Cruelty/Excess Vic. – no sep. but greater burden
for offending behavior - Das
Vol.Sep.: Must be mutual agreement to end
marriage at time of separation
Two-Year Sep: No need for agrmt
Proc: Hearing/P Testify/Corrob. Witness
Defenses to Divorce
1) Reconciliation – We agreed to divorce
but I offered to reconcile.
2) Recrimination – I did it, but so did she.
3) Condonation – I did it, but she forgave me.
Fault Era – bar to divorce
No-Fault Era – (2) & (3) are factors, particularly for
adultery, but not bar
Pre-1800’s: All property acquired during
marriage = Husband
1800’s–1970’s: Common Law Rule = property
distributed by TITLE
Modern Rule: Majority – Equitable Distribution
Minority – Community Property
(changes character of
property during marriage)
3 Step Process:
1st – Classify Property as Marital/Non-Marital
2nd – Value Property
3rd – “Divide” Property
Equitable Distribution Issues
1st Step: Classify marital/non-marital
Definition: All property acquired by H & W
during marriage except gifts or inheritance (or
traceable to either)
Issues Related to Classification
a) When Did Marriage Begin for Purposes of
b) When Is Marriage Over?
- date of separation?
- date of filing divorce complaint?
- date of divorce judgment?
c) Is Asset Property?