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Divorce, Separation, and Annulment: The Basics

Divorce proceedings and separation agreements differ in one fundamental regard: a divorce decree terminates the marriage whereas a separation agreement preserves the marriage, but otherwise provides separate legal status for each spouse. An annulment terminates a void or voidable marriage.

As of 2009, the District of Columbia and all the states except the State of New York allow unilateral (that is initiated solely by one spouse) no-fault divorce proceedings. New York, alone among all the states, retains the concept of fault in divorce proceedings.Wikipedia has an article on no-fault divorce.

Inside Divorce, Separation, and Annulment: The Basics