Different Types of Divorce

Different Types of Divorce

Divorce is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be too difficult either. Not only can divorce be expensive, with the average cost of the process costing between $12,000 to $15,000, it can also be emotionally and psychologically draining for all parties involved. What many people don’t know is there are different kinds of divorce that fit the wide range of needs that clients present, including divorcing parties that want to arrive at a solution in the least harmful manner possible. Below are the four kinds of divorce processes that are most common, which can help you make the right choice for your family and yourself.

Uncontested Divorce 

Uncontested divorces are best for when both parties can work things out mutually and reach a solution to which both are agreeable. In other words, each party agrees on how community property should be divided ( houses, cars, stocks, etc.), how financial issues should be solved (or how debt is split), child support, and other topics. This type of divorce can typically be finalized quickly, but there have been times where spouses have unknowingly given away rights they didn’t know they had, or opted for a solution that, under the advisement of a lawyer, they probably wouldn’t have. Hiring an experienced attorney or law practice helps to ensure that both parties are treated fairly.

Mediated Divorce 

In a mediated divorce, a neutral attorney helps both parties negotiate so they may reach an amicable solution. Mediation normally takes one full day at least for an agreement to be reached. However, the length of time the mediation takes depends entirely on the issues the divorcing couple present and how agreeable they are to one another’s wishes in the divorce. In a mediated divorce, the wishes of both parties are presented and efforts are made for a mutual compromise to be made. Fair and mediated representation for both parties helps to ensure that the divorce process goes more smoothly, making it a far less stressful endeavor.

Collaborative Law Divorce 

Collaborative divorce is a little like mediated divorce in that it is a transparent and negotiated process, the goal of which is to reach an amicable agreement between both parties. However, in this kind of divorce process, each party has an attorney and there are typically other neutral and professional experts on hand. This can include mental health professionals, child specialists, financial experts, and people trained in conflict resolution. There are multiple goals of collaborative divorce: to lessen the emotional, financial, and psychological impact that a divorce can have, to be child-centered and mindful of the difficulty of divorce, and to avoid litigation in court.

For some law practices, such as Boulder collaborative divorce, to best ensure that everyone is motivated to arrive at an amicable agreement and avoid a trial, their lawyers are barred from representing their clients at trial. For divorcing parties who have children, the collaborative divorce model helps to ensure that the needs of the child or children of the family are centered, making it a more ideal divorce process than others.

Contested Divorce or Litigated Divorce 

In this process, a spouse seeking a divorce will file an original petition for divorce, and the other party has to be “served” with the lawsuit. If both parties agree, they must then file with the court. Ultimately, a litigated divorce means multiple hearings, presenting evidence, and a trial. Each party will have to retain an attorney to argue on their behalf for matters pertaining to the division of property, child custody and support, debt accrual, and so on. The court may issue temporary orders if this is requested by a party as the divorce proceeds. A litigated divorce can be very expensive, not to mention time-consuming.

Choose the Right Divorce Process for You

In the end, the right divorce process is the divorce process that will best fit the client’s needs, attitudes towards the other party, and the possibility of reaching a compromise. Regardless, it is always a good idea to meet with a law firm to provide a more objective outlook during this stressful period.

Harold N. Hatcher