Considering Divorce: Types of Divorce 7

Depending on your circumstances, there are a few different types of divorce (also called dissolution in many states). Which route to take all depends on where you live and whether or not you and your spouse can come to an agreement.

  • Summary Divorce – Some states will allow a simplified divorce process if the parties meet certain criteria, such as a short-term marriage of 5 years or less and the absence of major assets, property or children.
  • Uncontested Divorce – An uncontested divorce is similar to a summary divorce except that the parties can have children and considerable property and assets to be distributed. All that is required is for the judge to approve the couples’ agreement and the divorce can be granted.
  • No-Fault Divorce – Most states now allow a “no-fault” divorce which simply means that the parties do not have to go into who’s to blame for the split.
  • At-Fault Divorce – Some states still have an at-fault divorce option in addition to no-fault divorce. In this type of divorce, the filing spouse must allege fault on the part of the other spouse for the breakdown of the marriage.

Legal Separation

Legal separation is one of the most misunderstood aspects of family law. Despite the assumptions of many, a separated couple who have filed for divorce is not legally separated. Legal separation is a totally separate mechanism under the law. Everything that can be accomplished in a divorce (child custody, child support, spousal support and property division determinations) with the exception of the legal dissolution of the marriage. Legal separations are also used in states that require a documented separation period prior to granting a divorce. [more…]


Another option to end a marriage is annulment. An annulment is not the same as a divorce. Annulment relies on the idea that the marriage either shouldn’t or wouldn’t have taken place if all the facts had been rightly known. While a wedding may have occurred, there was never actually a legal marriage to terminate and thus all that is needed is to officially declare the union to be void or voidable. [more…]


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