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What Are the Different Types of Divorce That Occur Today?


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According to the CDC, there were more than 746,000 divorces in the United States. While the divorce rate has gone down for people between the ages of 25 and 39 in the last twenty-five years, the divorce rate of people over the age of 50 has actually doubled since 1990.

Getting a divorce is always a major shift in one’s personal life. However, there are a number of different types of divorce which can vary widely in terms of how long they take, how stressful they are, and how expensive they are.

Before you embark on the process of getting divorced, it can be useful to understand the different possible paths available when dissolving a marriage.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the different types of divorce.

Summary Divorce

When a couple hasn’t been married for too long, such as for five years or less, some states allow for an expedited divorce procedure.

There are often conditions that must be met to use this type of divorce. For example, couples typically also need to not have children, not have much in the way of shared debt, and not own much property. Both individuals need to agree regarding the divorce to file for a summary divorce.

The paperwork must be filed jointly at the courts for this type of divorce. You might also hear a summary divorce referred to as a simplified divorce. Summary divorces involve a lot less documentation and paperwork than other routes to divorce you can take.

Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested divorces are typically the divorce path that creates the least amount of stress and difficulty. When going through an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse come to an agreement on all of your different issues up-front. These might include alimony, visitation and custody, child support, and property division.

A written “property settlement agreement” will be created where all of the terms of the settlement are outlined. This is also sometimes known as a “separation agreement.”

These types of cases are often fast-tracked by the courts. This means that an uncontested divorce takes much less time than other forms.

Default Divorce

Another type of divorce is a default divorce. This is when you file for divorce but there is no response from your spouse. An example of getting a divorce of this kind would be if your spouse has gone elsewhere and cannot be located.

If you have followed all of the regulations and rules of the court, a judge is capable of granting a divorce even though the court proceedings haven’t involved your spouse. There are a number of pros and cons to a default divorce, and it’s worth doing more research before pursuing this kind of divorce.

Contested Divorce

As you likely know, even relationships comprised of the most loving couples can turn into nasty divorces down the road. Sometimes, there are issues that the two of you simply cannot agree upon. If that is the case, then a judge will be left to decide on a number of important issues for you both.

It is hard to overstate just how expensive, time-consuming, and stressful it is to go through a contested divorce. You will have to exchange tons of financial information, deal with court hearings, go through mandatory settlement negotiations, and much more.

If you still haven’t come to an agreement after all of that, you’ll go through a trial in court.

Are you facing a divorce and in need of a lawyer? Follow this link to find help today.

Fault and No-Fault Divorce

The terms “fault” and “no-fault” divorce refer to the reasons why a divorce is occurring. There are different laws in each state about the reasons that you can lawfully get divorced.

Not too long ago, individuals had to show that wrongdoing had occurred to obtain permission to divorce. These wrongdoings might include cruelty or adultery.

At this point, though, all of the states in the US allow for what is known as a “no-fault” divorce. This means that couples can state that the relationship “irremediably broke down” or that the two of you have “irreconcilable differences.”

It’s important to note that a no-fault divorce isn’t necessarily an uncontested divorce.

Mediated Divorce

There are a number of options when it comes to resolving your differences with your spouse. Divorce mediation is one of these potential choices. When you undergo mediation, a neutral third party who is trained in this type of scenario helps the two of you resolve your issues.

It’s important to note that the mediator won’t decide for you about your marital issues. However, they can help to guide the process and move things forward. Using a mediator can help you avoid the lengthy and costly process of a contested divorce in the courts.

Collaborative Divorce

Another type of divorce is known as collaborative divorce. This is when lawyers who are trained in a specific method of divorce settlement are involved. Each spouse hires their own lawyer and there is an agreement to disclose all necessary information and to meet as often as necessary to reach a settlement.

If this process doesn’t result in an agreement and you choose to go to court, both spouses will have to hire new lawyers.

Understanding the Different Types of Divorce Can Help You Make the Right Decision for You

As you can see, getting a divorce can be a relatively simple process or it can be a long, drawn-out experience. Depending on the nature of your relationship, your breakup, and the types of decisions you have to make in the process, divorce can range from amicable to cutthroat.

If you are trying to reduce the amount of stress and time your divorce puts you through, not to mention the cost, it’s important to understand what the different kinds of divorces are so you can proceed in a way that best suits you and this stage in your life.

Did you find this article about the different types of divorce helpful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog!



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