A divorce is technically the dissolution of a marriage.  While an absolute divorce results in the dissolution of the legal marriage between the spouses, there are other claims that must be brought prior to the dissolution of marriage or they will be waived, preventing both spouses from ever being allowed to bring those claims.  These waivable claims include equitable distribution (dividing up the property and debts) and spousal support (e.g. alimony).  Other claims may be relevant to a “divorce” include child custody and child support.  For the purposes of this book, we include all these related claims as part of the “divorce,” though technically they are separate claims and, in some circumstances (such as child custody and child support), the claims are not even related to a marriage (for instance, if children were born out of wedlock).

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