The Different Types of Divorce 0

Divorce can be a time-consuming and expensive process, but there is more than one way to get a divorce. There are different types of divorce and the right type for someone depends upon their individual circumstances with their exes.

Summary Divorce

A summary divorce, sometimes referred to as a simplified divorce, is available to some spouses who have been married for five years of less, don’t have any children, don’t have significant joint debts and have limited property to divide. A summary divorce is fairly simple to complete and can usually be done without the assistance of a lawyer.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is one in which both spouses agree to getting a divorce and work together to come to terms that they can both agree to. An uncontested divorce does not require a trial and is a cooperative effort by both spouses. Ideally, this is the type of divorce that spouses want to choose since it doesn’t entail much litigation and conflict.

Default Divorce

Default divorces are granted on default when one spouse files for divorce and the other doesn’t respond. A default divorce is most often granted when one spouse can’t be found or simply refuses to respond to court proceedings.

No-Fault and Fault Divorces

Fault divorces are mostly a thing of the past. In a fault divorce, one spouse had to prove that the failure of the marriage was the fault of the other spouse. However, nowadays, people don’t have to prove fault in a divorce. They can get a no-fault divorce that merely states irreconcilable differences as the cause for the dissolution of marriage.

Mediated Divorce

A mediated divorce is one in which a mediator sits down with both spouses in order to help them come to a mutual agreement that they’re both comfortable with. The mediator does not make any decisions or provide any input. Rather, he or she simply helps spouses communicate so that they can come to terms on their divorce settlements.

Collaborative Divorce

In a collaborative divorce each spouse hires an attorney to be on their side, but the attorneys are working collaboratively to come to a mutual agreement that both spouses are comfortable with. In the event that the divorce can’t be worked out collaboratively, the spouses hire different attorneys who will take their case to trial.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is one in which spouses cannot come to an agreement and have to undergo much litigation to come to terms. Oftentimes, the types of issues that people cannot agree on include division of property, child custody, child support, visitation and alimony. In contested divorces these issues must be taken before a judge to settle the matter. Contested divorces consist of negotiations, hearings and even trials. People entering into a contested divorce should definitely consider obtaining the representation of a lawyer.


Arbitration consists of spouses agreeing to hire a private judge to make the decisions concerning their divorce issues. In arbitration, spouses agree to honor the decisions that the arbitrator makes just as they would if a judge in an actual courtroom made the decision.

Same-Sex Divorces

Divorces for same-sex couples can be more complicated than those for heterosexual couples. Although same-sex couples use the same forms as heterosexual couples to get divorced, they might experience more difficulty in obtaining a divorce since states that don’t recognize their unions might not want to grant a divorce to a union that they don’t even recognize. They might have to travel to the state where they received their marriage to obtain their divorces or at least a state that recognizes their marriages.

Regardless of what type of divorce people need, getting one is very possible nowadays. One of the most defining factors of what type of divorce someone needs to enter into is how well they can communicate with their soon to be exes in order to figure out their issues and come to a mutual agreement.


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