In most jurisdictions, a divorce must be certified (or ordered by a Judge) by a court of law to come into effect.The terms of the divorce are usually determined by the courts, though they may take into account prenuptial agreements or post-nuptial agreements, or simply ratify terms that the spouses may have agreed to privately (this is not true in the United States, where agreements related to the marriage typically have to be rendered in writing to be enforceable).
Though divorce laws vary between jurisdictions, there are two basic approaches to divorce: fault based and no-fault based.
However, even in some jurisdictions that do not require a party to claim fault of their partner, a court may still take into account the behavior of the parties when dividing property, debts, evaluating custody, shared care arrangements and support.
In most countries, monogamy is required by law, so divorce allows each former partner to marry another person; where polygyny is legal but polyandry is not, divorce allows the woman to marry another person.
Divorce should not be confused with annulment, which declares the marriage null and void; with legal separation or de jure separation (a legal process by which a married couple may formalize a de facto separation while remaining legally married) or with de facto separation (a process where the spouses informally stop cohabiting).
Also in Italy, new laws came into force in 20 with significant changes in Italian law in matter of divorce: apart from shortening of the period of obligatory separation, are allowed other forms of getting a divorce – as an alternative to court proceedings, i.e.
the negotiations with the participation of an advocate or agreement made before the registrar of Public Registry Office.
Yet, what constitutes such a "breakdown" of the marriage is interpreted very differently from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, ranging from very liberal interpretations (e.g.
Netherlands) Separation constitutes a ground of divorce in some European countries (in Germany, e.g., a divorce is granted on the basis of a 1-year separation if both spouses consent, or 3-year separation if only one spouse consents).
In such a divorce the spouses are not able to agree on issues for instance child custody and division of marital assets.
In such situations, the litigation process takes longer to conclude.
Note that "separation" does not necessarily mean separate residences – in some jurisdictions, living in the same household but leading a separate life (e.g., eating, sleeping, socializing, etc.