There are several different ways married couples can enter into a divorce. Some divorces are relatively easy and straightforward while others can be long, drawn-out battles filled with acrimony. Typically, the type of divorce a couple goes through will largely depend on the state in which they live and the way the couple approaches the divorcing process.
While not always practical, it is best for both parties if they can put aside their differences in order to arrive at decisions that are fair and equitable to save the dying relationship. If children are involved, it is especially important to keep their best interests in mind as spouses take on the task of dissolving their marriage. During this time of shifting family dynamics, couples may find themselves in the middle of one of several types of divorces that will shape the way the actual process is handled.
Uncontested divorces are one of the quickest and easiest options. In these cases, spouses work together to reach mutually agreeable divorce terms. They will file divorce papers together and usually won’t ever have to step foot in a courtroom to make their divorce official.
Some states allow summary divorces. Summary divorces, or simplified divorces as they are often called, are ideal for couples who have been married for a short time, have few assets and debts, and do not have any children. Like an uncontested divorce, the couple must agree to the terms and file paperwork jointly in order to end their marriage. Due to the simplicity of summary divorces, couples often do not need the help of a family law lawyer to dissolve their marriage.
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When one spouse files for divorce, the other spouse is notified and must answer the divorce petition. If they fail to respond, the court can grant your divorce by default. Usually, these types of divorces occur when one spouse cannot be located. Often, the assistance of a family law attorney can be helpful in default divorces and can ensure state law requirements are met in order to award divorce by default.
No-fault & Fault-based Divorces
Every state allows couples a no-fault divorce option. Some states still allow a spouse to file for a fault-based divorce. The difference between the two is that a no-fault divorce does not place blame on either spouse for the dissolution of the marriage. In fault divorces, one spouse asserts the other is to blame for the divorce.
Contested divorces are often the most drawn out, emotional, and financially draining of all the divorce options. When couples simply cannot agree to the terms of their divorce including things like property division, alimony, child support and custody, they will turn to the courts to make these determinations for them. These cases can end up going to trial if a series of negotiations and hearings fails to yield an agreeable settlement. Couples going through contested divorces will require the expertise of a divorce lawyer to help with negotiations.