What Kind Of Divorce Options Do I Have? (No-Fault, Fault Divorce, Etc.)
Updated September 04, 2018
You'd think that divorce would be fairly straightforward, right? All there is to divorce is legal separation, and there is only one way to go about it. While this is logical thinking, there are several different types of divorces that you can choose from when you want to divorce your spouse. To better prepare yourself for when you begin filing for divorce, here are some of the divorce options that you have to choose from or some divorces that may come about as a result of unique circumstances.
- Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce is one of the easiest types of divorce, where a couple who plans on separating works together to reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce. In this type of situation, the couple files for divorce and doesn't usually have to deal with court appearances because there are no issues between the two that need to be resolved by a legal entity. This type of separation also tends to be the least expensive and the quickest to complete. If possible, all couples should aim to have an uncontested divorce.
- Contested Divorce
A contested divorce is a divorce in which a couple cannot agree on the terms of the separation. This type of divorce, which is often considered the typical divorce that many couples have, happens most often between couples who have a lot of property and shared finances. Couples who have a contested divorce should expect to deal with several court appearances and negotiations until fair terms are reached.
- Fault Divorce
Although this type of divorce is not common in practice anymore, a fault divorce is a type of divorce where the person who is seeking the divorce must prove that it is their spouse's fault that the marriage has fallen apart. The reasons for this divorce must be legitimate and provable. For example, a spouse can file a fault divorce if they have been abused or neglected. This divorce is still practiced in states such as Louisiana, Arizona, and Arkansas but most divorces follow along with the rules of the next category.
- No-Fault Divorce
A no-fault divorce, unlike a fault divorce, focuses on the idea that both individuals played a part in how the marriage ended up. This divorce isn't necessarily a divorce type but rather an explanation of how the divorce process will play out in a court of law and in between a couple. With no-fault divorce, both parties are treated equally and are not expected to prove innocence or guilt. The only things that need to be determined in a no-fault divorce are the terms of the separation.
- Divorce With Mediation
When two individuals can't agree on the terms of a divorce, they will require a mediator to help them solve their issues. This type of agreement happens outside of a court of law, and the mediator works as a messenger between the couple to help them reach an agreement without involving a judge or another legal body.
The mediator will go back and forth and communicate the needs of both individuals until each spouse can agree on the terms required by each other. If they can't reach an agreement and they are still struggling to find terms that work for both parties, they will most likely have to use a divorce process like the one mentioned below.
- Divorce With Arbitration
A divorce that requires arbitration is similar to a divorce that requires mediation. However, the person who solves a couple's issues during the arbitration process is a special judge known as an arbitrator. The arbitrator will listen to each story of the couple and decide what is fair for both of them to receive based on what arguments they present. This type of divorce process only happens if a couple is unwilling to negotiate on any terms and can't settle terms using processes outside of the court.
- Default Divorce
A default divorce is granted when one spouse cannot be found or contacted. Say, for example, that you have been married to someone who has left you and moved to another state or country without your knowledge. When you file for divorce, the court will typically require you to accomplish a series of tasks in an attempt to contact your spouse and to make the divorce known in your area. If you cannot find them and if the court cannot find them either, the divorce will be granted without your spouse's consent.
- Summary Divorce
A summary divorce occurs when a couple has not been together for a long period or when they don't own much between themselves. For example, couples without children, shared finances, property, or who have been together for only a few months or years. Those filing for a summary divorce file significantly less paperwork than those who have to deal with any of the divorces listed above. They will also have to deal with fewer court visitations and wait less time to finalize their divorce. Much like an uncontested divorce, this is one of the ideal divorce processes to go through.
- Collaborative Divorce
Much like a divorce involving arbitration or mediation, a collaborative divorce requires the assistance of other people to reach an agreement on divorce terms. With collaborative divorce, however, each spouse hires their attorney to help them with their divorce, and after signing an agreement, the attorneys work between each other to help the couple agree with what is best for them. If they should fail to reach an agreement that suits both of them, the attorneys will leave the couple, and the couple will have to go through another process, which provides extra incentive to agree the first time.
As you can see, there are a variety of divorce paths that you can choose to take when you decide to separate in your marriage. However, the number of divorce options and the divorce itself can be overwhelming to deal with. If you are struggling with the divorce process and you need help coping with your separation, consider visiting https://www.regain.us/start/.
ReGain is an online counseling platform designed specifically for relationship counseling. Clicking the link above will bring you to a page that will help you connect with the right relationship counselor for you!