There are different ways to dissolve a marriage, depending on the circumstances. The three main types of divorce are uncontested divorce, contested divorce, and no-fault divorce. Each type of divorce has its specific characteristics. The type of divorce you can get depends on several factors, including whether there is a mutual agreement between the couple regarding the divorce terms. You can continue reading to learn more about the three types of divorce.
1. Uncontested Divorce
As the name suggests, an uncontested divorce is when the divorcing couple agrees on different matters related to the divorce, such as child custody and spousal support. This means that they don’t have to go to court to resolve any disputes. The divorcing couple also reach a settlement on the division of marital assets without the need to contest the issue in court. An uncontested divorce is typically the easier and fastest type of divorce. Generally, uncontested divorce is also less costly.
You can still benefit from having legal representation in an uncontested divorce, depending on the complexity of the issues. Even the simplest uncontested divorce requires some legal paperwork and court procedures so that an attorney can guide you through the process. The attorney can also help their clients avoid mistakes by identifying potential pitfalls in the divorce process.
2. Contested Divorce
A contested divorce is typically more complicated and contentious compared to an uncontested divorce. In this type of divorce, the spouses are unable to reach an agreement on divorce-related issues such as alimony or child custody. Therefore, they need to take the case to court so a decision can be made on disputed matters.
As you can expect, a contested divorce process can take a while to finalize and is typically more expensive compared to an uncontested divorce. The length of time of expenses will depend on the specifics of the case. It is not uncommon for an uncontested divorce to be a drawn-out process taking several weeks or months.
Another aspect to consider with contested divorce is that the entire process can be more emotionally draining. It is often challenging to go through the entire process and to come to terms with court decisions on whether or not you will get to have child custody or to pay a substantial percentage of your assets in alimony to the divorcing spouse.
You are mostly likely to need legal representation for a contested divorce, as such cases often involve complex legal issues. The attorney can guide you on your legal rights and your obligations. A contested divorce can also go through a mediation phase to determine if any couple can reach an agreement before going to court. The divorce may also go through a negotiation phase. The attorney can help reach a favorite settlement by advocating for your interests. However, keep in mind that no attorney can guarantee results. Ultimately, it is the court’s authority to make the final decision on matters related to a contested divorce. You can maximize your chances of a favorable verdict by hiring an experienced attorney for expert legal advice, strategy, and representation in court.
3. No-Fault Divorce
According to divorce lawyer Overland Park | The Bright Family Law Center, a divorce can happen due to many reasons, such as domestic violence, adultery, habitual intoxication, or a felony conviction. However, there are cases of divorce where no one is at fault.
With a no-fault divorce, the spouses are not required to provide any reason for the divorce. This means that it doesn’t have been proven that either party was at fault for the divorce. A no-fault divorce is based on the premise that the couple had irreconcilable differences and have decided to legally dissolve the marriage.
The process of no-fault divorce is simpler and less time-consuming, especially when compared to a contested divorce. You can check with an attorney if you meet the requirements for a no-fault divorce. In some cases, there are residency requirements to file for a no-fault divorce.
Do You Need a Divorce Lawyer for All Divorces?
While it’s not an absolute requirement to hire a divorce lawyer for all divorces, having legal representation can be highly beneficial in most cases. Whether or not you need a divorce lawyer depends on several factors, including the complexity of your situation, the presence of children, assets, and debts, and the level of agreement between you and your spouse.
Here are a few scenarios to consider:
Uncontested Divorce: If you and your spouse are in complete agreement on all aspects of the divorce, such as child custody, property division, alimony, and support, and there are no major conflicts, you might be able to handle the divorce process without a lawyer. That being said, an uncontested divorce can turn into a hotly contested one in an instant, so it’s best to be fully prepared.
Contested Divorce: If there are disputes over important issues like child custody, division of significant assets, or alimony, it’s highly recommended to consult with a divorce lawyer. A lawyer can help protect your rights and interests, negotiate on your behalf, and provide legal advice to ensure you’re making informed decisions.
Complex Financial Situations: If you have a complex financial situation, such as jointly owned businesses, multiple properties, significant investments, or substantial debts, a lawyer can help ensure that your financial interests are properly addressed during the divorce process.
Child Custody and Support Matters: If you have children and there are disagreements about custody, visitation schedules, or child support, a lawyer can help navigate the legal complexities and advocate for the best interests of your children.
Emotional and High-Conflict Situations: Divorces can be emotionally charged and tense, especially if there’s a history of conflict. Having a lawyer can act as a buffer between you and your spouse, helping to reduce stress and facilitate communication.
Legal Expertise: Divorce laws vary by jurisdiction and can be complex. A divorce lawyer has a deep understanding of local laws, regulations, and court procedures, ensuring that your case is handled correctly and efficiently.
It’s important to remember that even in uncontested divorces, consulting with a lawyer for legal advice before finalizing any agreements can be a wise choice to avoid potential pitfalls down the road.