4 Different Types of Divorce


Divorce or dissolution of a marriage can happen in different ways. It is estimated that 95% of all divorces in the United States are uncontested divorce because both parties to the divorce are able to come to terms on issues like child custody, alimony and the division of marital assets without the interference of the court. 

All divorces are governed by no-fault divorce laws, regardless, the type of divorce you have will be greatly determined by how willing you are your spouse are to work together during the divorce process.


No-Fault Divorce

California changed the way we look at divorce and made it easier to get out of a marriage by passing the first no-fault divorce laws in 1970. Before that, there had to be fault found before one spouse could leave a marriage. The fault was the “grounds” for the divorce and included such things as adultery, physical or mental cruelty and desertion.

Many states used to allow fault divorce and take into consideration the wrongdoing of a spouse. That changed in 2013 when New York state, the last hold-out adopted no-fault divorce laws. No-fault is exactly as it sounds:

No one is at fault for the failure of the marriage. In some states, even if there was some misconduct by a spouse it does not matter. The reasons for acquiring a divorce may be as simple as incompatibility or irreconcilable differences. There doesn’t have to be any further explanation or proof that the marriage should continue.

The idea behind no-fault divorce was to cut down on conflict during the divorce process by ridding litigants of the need to show a cause for the divorce. the opposite has happened and according to research and studies, divorce is more conflicted than before the passing of no-fault divorce laws.

If you've been cheated on, abused and abandoned it is natural to want to hold the other party responsible.

To me, it only makes sense that the aggrieved party would become angrier and feel a lack of support where they should expect support, from the family court system. This doesn't alleviate conflict, it promotes conflict!

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce takes place when both spouses reach a mutual agreement to end the marriage. They are able to come to an agreement regarding the division of property, any financial issues, children and other contentious issues.

Uncontested divorces are simple and quick but they can cause people to give up rights they did not know they had. Rights such as alimony, a division of retirement benefits, income from real estate and other sources of income. It is always prudent to consult an attorney, even if you and your soon to be ex-spouse are on the best of terms.

Simplified Divorce

Simplified divorces are uncontested, no-fault divorces where there is no conflict between the spouses. Usually, simplified divorce takes place in marriages of short duration where there are no children and very few marital assets to bicker over.

State laws differ on simplified divorce but, if your state allows it, it is a less expense and less stressful way to go. Simplified divorces are usually granted quickly, normally within 30 days of filing.

Limited Divorce

Limited divorce is similar to a legal separation and is not allowed in some states. Usually, couples who need to arrange their finances and settle other issues will choose a limited divorce to give them time. As in a legal separation, spouses must live separately and can’t have sexual relations with each other or other people. Limited divorces also give spouses time to come to an agreement on issues such as dividing up pension funds, the division of property, child custody and visitation and alimony before the divorce becomes final.