Contact us whenever you need it!

phone

+1 855 997 0206

Contact Hours: Sun-Sat 8am - 10pm ET

When a couple decides to get a divorce, it begins either a long journey full of frustrations or a relatively calm period where both parties agree on how things should end. Fortunately, all states provide diverse divorce options that succeed in factoring in a couple's needs.

For example, if you agree on most matters with your partner, you can file for an uncontested divorce, while a person whose spouse doesn't want to cooperate with the process can file for a default divorce. This article will explore the types of divorce available and explain other options if divorce is not the best fit for your current situation.

Get Your Divorce Agreement Here

No-Fault Versus Fault Divorce

No-fault and fault divorce are often recognized as the traditional type of divorce. In a no-fault divorce, one spouse requests the court for the marriage to end without blaming the other spouse for the breakup. You will use the provided state legal grounds as the reason for making the request. The three main reasons available in all states are:

  • Incompatibility
  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Irretrievable breakdown

In a fault divorce, the spouse filing the divorce claims that the other spouse caused the challenges that led to the decision to end the marriage. Examples of reasons you can use are abuse, adultery, drug use, and impotence.

Contested Versus Uncontested Divorce

A contested divorce happens when a couple cannot agree on how things should end. They may have settlement disputes over assets, finances, and custody. Each spouse must go through discovery and their financial status exposed to find a favorable way to settle issues.

On the other hand, an uncontested divorce occurs when you agree with your spouse to resolve matters concerning property division, child support, and alimony without involving the court. This option is more cost-effective and saves the spouses from additional heartache.

Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation allows a couple to look for a neutral third party to help resolve the pending issues as they seek divorce. The mediator doesn't have the right to decide for you. They only facilitate the process by offering guidance and assisting you in communicating effectively. The aim is to come out of the process of having a settlement agreement so that you can seek a quicker divorce process.

Co-Mediation

Unlike divorce meditation, co-mediation involves having several mediators work together to help a couple reach an agreement. The concept behind having two or more mediators is that the experienced people on the team will help you make a fairer and more informed decision.

Although not commonly used compared to divorce mediation, co-mediation can be a great option if you have serious communication issues with your partner or want to attend only some of the proceedings.

Collaborative Divorce

As a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), collaborative divorce involves a couple hiring their own attorneys trained in divorce matters. Their only role is to find the most reasonable way to end the marriage as they address the pending issues.

You and your spouse must agree to disclose vital information necessary to settle the case. If you disagree and go to litigation, these attorneys are not legally allowed to represent you in court.

Arbitration

Although not legally approved in all states, arbitration is a viable option if you want to avoid going through litigation but, at the same time, have someone decide a case for you. In arbitration, both sides present their case to the arbitrator in an agreed formal setting.

Afterward, the arbitrator will review the presented evidence and then give a ruling. Each spouse must sign a binding order that states you agree to follow with the decision reached.

Default Divorce

Default divorce is a provision given in every state to deal with spouses who fail to respond after the other spouse files for divorce. This situation occurs when you do not know where your spouse is, or they refuse to cooperate.

Before a court grants you a default judgment, you must show you have made an effort to deliver the divorce papers to your spouse. If you fail to locate them, you can request the court for permission to serve your spouse via publication.

Summary Divorce

In simple terms, summary divorce requires you and your spouse to give up spousal support rights after divorce. It is fit for couples who:

  • Were married for a short period
  • Do not have minor children
  • Agree on all issues
  • Have limited debt and marital property

Once you file for summary divorce, you must provide a settlement agreement to the judge showing you agreed to all the terms. The divorce is final once the judge signs the documents.

Same-Sex Divorce

Currently, same-sex divorce is similar to heterosexual divorce as long as the couple meets the requirements in their state. This outcome was not the case before Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644 case in 2015. A married couple in a state that hadn't legalized same-sex marriage had to go to a state that had legalized it to get a divorce. In addition, some states made it harder for non-residents to file a case in their courts, making it nearly impossible for same-sex couples to end their marriage.

Alternatives to Divorce

Apart from divorce, all states provide other alternatives that allow couples to part ways without permanently ending the marriage or not recognizing the union in the first place. The following are three available options you can explore.

Trial Separation

A trial separation is a viable option to look into if you are having marital challenges but do not want to file for divorce yet. This alternative allows you to separate temporarily. You can live apart and attend couples counseling as you evaluate your relationship.

After a trial separation, you or your spouse may not be ready to get back together, but you still do not want to end things permanently. Most states allow you to file for legal separation and eventually sign a separation agreement. This option still requires the judge to rule on divorce issues such as custody, property divisions, and alimony.

Annulment

When a court annuls your marriage, it concludes and declares it invalid. The court removes your marriage records from the system, and you regain a single status. However, you must meet certain criteria to qualify for annulment.

Helpful Resources:

American Bar - Divorce

Constitution Center - Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)

When a couple decides to get a divorce, it begins either a long journey full of frustrations or a relatively calm period where both parties agree on how things should end. Fortunately, all states provide diverse divorce options that succeed in factoring in a couple's needs.

For example, if you agree on most matters with your partner, you can file for an uncontested divorce, while a person whose spouse doesn't want to cooperate with the process can file for a default divorce. This article will explore the types of divorce available and explain other options if divorce is not the best fit for your current situation.

Get Your Divorce Agreement Here

No-Fault Versus Fault Divorce

No-fault and fault divorce are often recognized as the traditional type of divorce. In a no-fault divorce, one spouse requests the court for the marriage to end without blaming the other spouse for the breakup. You will use the provided state legal grounds as the reason for making the request. The three main reasons available in all states are:

  • Incompatibility
  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Irretrievable breakdown

In a fault divorce, the spouse filing the divorce claims that the other spouse caused the challenges that led to the decision to end the marriage. Examples of reasons you can use are abuse, adultery, drug use, and impotence.

Contested Versus Uncontested Divorce

A contested divorce happens when a couple cannot agree on how things should end. They may have settlement disputes over assets, finances, and custody. Each spouse must go through discovery and their financial status exposed to find a favorable way to settle issues.

On the other hand, an uncontested divorce occurs when you agree with your spouse to resolve matters concerning property division, child support, and alimony without involving the court. This option is more cost-effective and saves the spouses from additional heartache.

Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation allows a couple to look for a neutral third party to help resolve the pending issues as they seek divorce. The mediator doesn't have the right to decide for you. They only facilitate the process by offering guidance and assisting you in communicating effectively. The aim is to come out of the process of having a settlement agreement so that you can seek a quicker divorce process.

Co-Mediation

Unlike divorce meditation, co-mediation involves having several mediators work together to help a couple reach an agreement. The concept behind having two or more mediators is that the experienced people on the team will help you make a fairer and more informed decision.

Although not commonly used compared to divorce mediation, co-mediation can be a great option if you have serious communication issues with your partner or want to attend only some of the proceedings.

Collaborative Divorce

As a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), collaborative divorce involves a couple hiring their own attorneys trained in divorce matters. Their only role is to find the most reasonable way to end the marriage as they address the pending issues.

You and your spouse must agree to disclose vital information necessary to settle the case. If you disagree and go to litigation, these attorneys are not legally allowed to represent you in court.

Arbitration

Although not legally approved in all states, arbitration is a viable option if you want to avoid going through litigation but, at the same time, have someone decide a case for you. In arbitration, both sides present their case to the arbitrator in an agreed formal setting.

Afterward, the arbitrator will review the presented evidence and then give a ruling. Each spouse must sign a binding order that states you agree to follow with the decision reached.

Default Divorce

Default divorce is a provision given in every state to deal with spouses who fail to respond after the other spouse files for divorce. This situation occurs when you do not know where your spouse is, or they refuse to cooperate.

Before a court grants you a default judgment, you must show you have made an effort to deliver the divorce papers to your spouse. If you fail to locate them, you can request the court for permission to serve your spouse via publication.

Summary Divorce

In simple terms, summary divorce requires you and your spouse to give up spousal support rights after divorce. It is fit for couples who:

  • Were married for a short period
  • Do not have minor children
  • Agree on all issues
  • Have limited debt and marital property

Once you file for summary divorce, you must provide a settlement agreement to the judge showing you agreed to all the terms. The divorce is final once the judge signs the documents.

Same-Sex Divorce

Currently, same-sex divorce is similar to heterosexual divorce as long as the couple meets the requirements in their state. This outcome was not the case before Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644 case in 2015. A married couple in a state that hadn't legalized same-sex marriage had to go to a state that had legalized it to get a divorce. In addition, some states made it harder for non-residents to file a case in their courts, making it nearly impossible for same-sex couples to end their marriage.

Alternatives to Divorce

Apart from divorce, all states provide other alternatives that allow couples to part ways without permanently ending the marriage or not recognizing the union in the first place. The following are three available options you can explore.

Trial Separation

A trial separation is a viable option to look into if you are having marital challenges but do not want to file for divorce yet. This alternative allows you to separate temporarily. You can live apart and attend couples counseling as you evaluate your relationship.

After a trial separation, you or your spouse may not be ready to get back together, but you still do not want to end things permanently. Most states allow you to file for legal separation and eventually sign a separation agreement. This option still requires the judge to rule on divorce issues such as custody, property divisions, and alimony.

Annulment

When a court annuls your marriage, it concludes and declares it invalid. The court removes your marriage records from the system, and you regain a single status. However, you must meet certain criteria to qualify for annulment.

Helpful Resources:

American Bar - Divorce

Constitution Center - Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)