All You Need to Know About the Different Types of Divorce

Have you just filed for a divorce, or are you considering it?

If so, you might be feeling just a bit overwhelmed. After all, you and your spouse have built a life together.

Who gets to see the children and when? Who gets the house and the car and the rest of the valuables? How do you divide up the property?

Divorces are often messy with emotions, even if you’re both certain this is the right choice.

If you’ve done some research, you know there are several different types of divorce. But how do you know which one is best for you?

Take a deep breath. Fortunately, there are people on your side, even in the legal system. You have different options for your divorce. Keep reading to learn about them!

Deciding Which of the Different Types of Divorce Is for You

If you’re getting divorced, you’re probably wondering which divorce type is best for you.

We’ll go into the different types of divorce below. Before we do, though, do an honest assessment of where you are in terms of your relationship with your spouse.

Do you think the divorce will go relatively smoothly? Do you think you will be able to come to a calm settlement? 

Once you have your answer, take a look at your options below.

Summary Divorce

Have you been married for 5 years or less?

You might want to consider getting a summary divorce.

These divorces require minimal action on your part. You will still need to fill out some forms, which you obtain from your local court. Both parties will need to agree to the divorce.

This is perfect for couples who do not yet have children or many assets shared between the two of them. Usually, this process doesn’t require you both to get lawyers, either.

If you believe you fit the profile, this can be an excellent, easy divorce to get.

Uncontested Divorce

Have you been married for a little longer but still don’t want to complicate your divorce beyond what’s necessary?

If you both are on board with the divorce and believe you can civilly divide up your property, try an uncontested divorce

Uncontested divorces do not feature trials, saving you the headache of having to prepare to go to court. Instead, you and your spouse will decide on everything yourselves, including who gets what.

You both also need to file paperwork cooperatively to make the divorce final.

As a result, if there are any major ongoing disagreements and you feel like you need a legal mediator, this is not the type of divorce for you.

Collaborative Divorce

If you prefer to have lawyers during the divorce process but still don’t think you need to go to court, try a collaborative divorce.

This type of divorce is meant to be collaborative. You, your spouse, and your lawyers will work together in order to get everything finished. 

This way is not as combative as a drawn-out legal battle. However, you must be willing to cooperate and hire lawyers who are willing to work together. If you cannot settle, your lawyers will withdraw, and you will need to hire new ones.

Default Divorce

Has your spouse just taken off and can’t be found?

If so, you might be wondering how you can get a divorce. After all, both parties usually need to be involved, right?

Yes, but there is a type of divorce you can still pursue. A default divorce happens when the person’s spouse does not respond to a divorce filing, no matter attempts there have been to reach them.

In this case, the divorce will be granted automatically, and your spouse will not be part of any of the legalities.

Fault Divorce

Did your spouse do something that prompted you to seek a divorce? Did they cheat, abuse you in some way, or otherwise violate the relationship?

If so, you can seek a fault divorce. In order to be granted this type of divorce, you must prove your spouse did what you claimed they did.

Because of this, these divorces can be messy.

No-Fault Divorce

Do you want to just get divorced without having to blame your spouse for something?

In the past, people used to have to be able to prove their spouse had done something to cause the downfall of the relationship. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be granted a divorce.

Fortunately, the law has moved past that. Now, if you don’t wish to accuse your spouse of ending the relationship, you can claim the two of you have irreconcilable differences.

This is known as a no-fault divorce, and many couples choose it to make the divorce process easier.

Contested Divorce

These divorces often comprise the messiest of the different types of divorce.

In them, the two spouses establish they cannot agree on key issues and/or that they harbor so much hostility toward each other they cannot come to a settlement. They both get lawyers and go to court.

A judge then hears their case and decides what happens.

These divorces are lengthy and very draining. They also come with a high price tag since you need to pay lawyers.

If possible, we recommend that you avoid this type of divorce unless it is necessary.  

Divorce Mediation

If you need some extra help settling your divorce but don’t want to go into a full contested case, involve a mediator.

A mediator is a neutral third party who will talk to both spouses about what they want. Then, they will do their best to guide the couple toward a solution. However, they will not make any decisions themselves.

Want More Legal Help?

Divorces can be complicated. 

After all, disentangling your life from someone else’s rarely constitutes a simple affair. That’s why there are so many different types of divorce. 

Hopefully, the information above has provided you with the guidance you need to make the best decision for your family.

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