Divorce Law: Choosing the Right Type of Divorce
Divorce is always a difficult decision. Once the decision has been made, one should consider the different types of divorces available before making a final decision, noting that divorce laws vary from state to state. There are many legal questions to consider including custody, support payments including custody, alimony and child support, and division of property and assets. There are several types of divorces and options to consider.
With the no fault option it is not necessary to specify fault to obtain a divorce. Some no fault divorce reasons are incompatibility and irreconcilable differences. This option may be considered if one wishes to avoid long court proceedings. Every state with the exception of New York has some type of no fault divorce.
Fault divorces involve requesting divorce on the grounds of fault such as cruelty, adultery, desertion, inability to have sexual relations, or prison confinement. People who chose this type of divorce may not be required to have the required legal separation time before a final divorce decree.
An uncontested divorce is one in which there is no dispute regarding custody, property, finances, nor other issues. If you file for a contested divorce, this means taking unresolved issues into court for a judge to decide.
Simplified divorces are uncontested, having no legal disputes. These types of divorces are considered when the marriage was short and no children are involved. This divorce is often less expensive. An attorney is not required for a simplified divorce and a court proceeding is not required.
Missing Spouse Divorce is an option if you do not know the whereabouts of your spouse or even if he or she resides in another state. Some courts will allow serving in a missing spouse divorce by posting and others require service by publication.
A limited divorce is similar to a legal separation. It gives both parties time while living apart to decide upon disputed issues before the divorce is finalized. This agreement authorizes the parties to live apart and obtain orders on financial and custody matters.
Absolute divorce dissolves all legal bonds of the marriage. The laws governing absolute divorce vary depending on your state of residence. Most states allow for filing of an absolute divorce when both parties have lived apart for at least 12 months by voluntary consent; if the parties have lived apart for a continuous time period of two years, there is no need to prove the separation was by voluntary consent.
With a collaborative divorce, the parties can call in experts to help decide property, financial, and other issues during divorce proceedings. A collaborative divorce encourages cooperation and may be within a conference room setting. In collaborative divorces, both parties must sign agreements prohibiting them from going to court.
If an uncontested divorce is chosen, look into a do it yourself divorce. This process does not require hiring an attorney. There are legal documents that will have to be signed and filed according to state law. Some companies provide do it yourself kits at a cost of approximately $200. Divorcing couples who are concerned with expenses of divorce may consider this option.
A divorce that has legal issues to work out will require the services of a mediator or attorney. Using a mediator involves hiring a neutral party to help resolve issues. This method may be chosen if both parties want to avoid a court proceeding. The mediator does not take sides but rather works with both parties to come to an agreement. If there are legal disputes such as custody, property division, spousal support, the services of an attorney may be beneficial. Even if most issues are agreed upon by both parties, legal advice could still be a good idea. Sometimes financial arrangements can be very complicated especially if the assets involved are very large.
Once should enter divorce very cautiously and conduct thorough research before making a final decision. The decision you chose may determine your final cost for divorce and the amount of time you will have to spend in a court room. Consider all options to choose which divorce best suites your needs and meets the legal requirements of your state of residence.