For better or worse, "divorce" was 2010's most searched legal term on FindLaw.com, the most popular consumer legal website.
Since about half of all American marriages end in divorce, it should come as no surprise that "divorce," and its dependents "child support" and "child custody," got the nod for most searched legal terms during the past 12 months.
"[D]ivorce filings are a fairly common legal proceeding," said Stephanie Rahlfs, attorney and editor with FindLaw.com. "In many ways, it's not surprising that there are a lot of people looking for information on what divorce entails, divorce laws as they specifically apply to their state, how the process works, and how they can find an attorney."
Going through a divorce is difficult and emotional. Contested child custody decisions and protracted financial disputes often erupt during the dissolution of a marriage. So it makes sense that people come to FindLaw to research what ending their marriage might entail.
After divorce and its progeny, the next most-searched legal terms over the past year were:
- Arizona immigration law
- Miranda rights and Miranda v. Arizona
- Statute of limitations
- Power of attorney
"The large number of searches on the topic of marijuana is likely a result of the recent movement in many states for medical use of marijuana, as well as California's Proposition 19, which proposed decriminalization of marijuana possession in last fall's election," said Rahlfs. "The high level of interest in information on curfews somewhat surprised us. Apparently, there's quite a lot of parents and children interested in checking on curfew laws."
Whatever new legal terms users will search for in 2011, you can be sure that FindLaw.com will have a wealth of information and articles available to help.
More than 4 million people use FindLaw.com every month to peruse millions of legal articles, videos, legal guides, FAQs and forms. FindLaw also provides up-to-date links to specific state and federal laws, and can help connect legal consumers via the largest searchable online directory of lawyers. There is newsworthy information available on FindLaw's blogs and commentary, and visitors can get guidance from the Learn About the Law articles, and the Answers community.
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with Adam Ramirez, FindLaw Portal Team