Understanding The Different Types Of Divorce

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Posted: 7th July 2021 by
Stearns Law
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Stearns Law explain the different types of divorce.

Selecting the option that will be the least stressful and provide you with the quickest resolution may be the right decision. As always, though, you will want to consider your needs and goals carefully and consult with a legal professional to ensure you are moving toward a divorce with the best possible outcome. Choosing the best way forward often comes with some additional knowledge, and it is better to have all the facts before making a choice as significant as what type of divorce to file for. 

Below, we’ll discuss the four traditional types of divorce, but your options may vary based on where you live and your specific situation; a trusted family law attorney can help you determine the best course of action. 


An uncontested divorce can be a fast and simple option if you and your spouse agree on all matters regarding your separation. This type of divorce may be final in as little as 31 days from the initial filing, but you must agree with your spouse on everything to use this kind of divorce, and that includes issues like property division, child support, custody, and financial matters.


A contested divorce is less straightforward, because there is at least one issue on which you and your spouse cannot agree. This type of divorce will take more time to finalise, and the courts may ultimately need to make certain decisions for you. Most commonly, financial issues and issues surrounding children are the areas where divorcing spouses cannot agree.


In a collaborative divorce, both spouses agree that they do not want to go to court. This type of divorce is handled in steps, where financial professionals help with the monetary decisions, therapists make recommendations for the best interests of the children, and so on. Meetings and disclosures are a big part of handling a divorce this way, until final agreement is reached in all areas. Then that agreement is given to the court, where the divorce is processed and finalised.


In a divorce involving arbitration, the spouses agree to let the arbitrator decide areas where they cannot agree. The arbitrator's decision is binding on the parties and will become the final agreement so the divorce can be processed. This can be faster than going to court and may also be less costly. Being able to keep their documents private and out of a court proceeding may also be another benefit to spouses, especially in a high-asset divorce.

Why Each Divorce is Different

Divorces are different because people are different. There are cases where two people simply realise it is not working out and basically agree to divorce with no hard feelings. There are also cases where two people will fight for years over one issue, mostly on principle. Most divorces fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. With different types of divorces available, spouses have the opportunity to choose what is right for their situation.

The Process for Each Type of Divorce

While the process for each divorce will be different based on state requirements, all divorces should begin with a legal professional who can help. By handling paperwork, preparing spouses for arbitration, finding collaboration professionals, and going to Court when necessary, a legal professional can make the process of divorce less stressful, complex, and confusing for spouses. The divorce process is generally difficult enough, but the right attorney will make it easier to move through it as efficiently as possible.

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