Often the family law industry finds itself at offs with the Catholic Church, which has historically required a several step process and steep fees to have the dissolution of a marriage spiritually recognized by an annulment. Under Catholic doctrine, a marriage will not be formally recognized by the church as ended unless the parties seek an annulment. This would prevent either husband or wife from remarrying in the Church among other things and placed a large barrier in the way of the nearly 28,000 American couples who sought divorce last year. Though the Catholic Church still does not formally recognize divorce without a formal Catholic annulment, Pope Francis announced this week that he hopes to simplify and streamline the process allowing the more than 28% of Catholics whose marriages end in divorce to breathe a bit easier and putting a bit less strain on their pocketbooks as well.
Community Property is a system of dividing property after a couple divorces. Community property is the minority rule in the U.S. and is only followed by nine states. Under this system, any property acquired during the marriage is called the community property, meaning that both spouses own the property together. Any property that one of the spouses bought prior to the marriage, or any property received as a gift is considered separate property and is not divided as part of the divorce.