In divorce cases, courts must find that a marriage is no longer possible between two spouses and mandate alimony payment, while couples must divide resources (also called property). Divorces, according to the Cornell University Legal Information Institute, formally dissolve marriages in full or in part. The type of divorce, either absolute or limited, determines the legal actions couples can and do take.
In the United States, decisions and actions regarding acts of marriage fall into the hands of individual states. This includes issuing a divorce, in part or in full. The Constitution, notes the Cornell University Legal Information Institute, does not grant couples a constitutional or legal right to divorce. However, states can decide what parameters to use for allowing divorces. In some states, couples must show proof of extramarital affairs or other unfaithful actions. In others, sufficient evidence must show that a marriage termination is in the best interest of the public.
After granting a divorce, courts divide property and set up alimony payment. Property division divides joint assets based on fairness and justice. Many factors are taken into consideration, including income, size of the family, health of family members and more. Courts then assign alimony payment in one of three forms: permanent, temporary and rehabilitative. Courts seek to help people maintain a similar quality of life through alimony payments as when married.