wood dollcouple symbolizing divorce

Types of Divorce: At-Fault vs. No-Fault, Contested vs. Uncontested

Divorce includes re-organizing the legal responsibilities and duties accorded to a spouse to their partner and children. The law governing marriages also offers situations when one might seek for a divorce. Note that these laws will be as different as the varying states of the U.S. For example, in some places, one needs a court sanction to begin issues of alimony and child support.

It is a wise thing to consult with a divorce lawyer in Suffolk County once you begin contemplating divorce. Once you start the legal process, the attorney will help you to draw divorce papers and to serve them to your soon-to-be ex-spouse. They will then provide counsel as to the steps that follow. The following are the different divorce types.

Contested Divorce

This type of separation necessitates a court hearing. At the trial, the judge hears what the couple does not agree about and delivers a ruling. Issues likely to be discussed include child custody and division of assets. The process for litigation here is often long and expensive for both parties. It is advisable to consider other approaches, such as mediation, before having to go to court.

At-Fault Divorce

Until the late 1950s, countries allowed one divorcing party to prove why the marriage had to be terminated. Unless there were grounds for divorce, courts would not grant the separation. There are still countries that have this law.

Note that the other party can contest this divorce to have their alleged offenses evaluated. Defenses may argue that the party was tricked, provoked or encouraged by the defendant to commit the said offense. Grounds for divorce may prove cruelty, abandonment and adultery.

Summary Divorce

Some jurisdictions use this type of separation for spouses who had a short marriage, have no children and have little to no joint assets to divide. A summary divorce may also be granted if there are shared assets, but there are no claims from one party that exceed a certain threshold.

No-Fault Divorce

Some jurisdictions grant divorces without any party proving the other to be guilty of anything. In this case, a bare assertion is enough. Some countries accept the “irretrievable breakdown of the relationship” as a good cause.

In other cases, proof of differences that cannot be reconciled is required. However, courts do not delve into the facts. A “no” and a “yes” from the parties in response to a question is satisfactory for the judge to make a ruling.

Uncontested Divorce

couple signing divorce papers

Here, both parties agree that divorce is necessary. They also agree on how property, assets, children and spousal support are to be handled. After the parties agree, they show the court that their agreement is equitable and the court grants a divorce. If the couple is unable to agree on one aspect, the court may decide for them.

Grounds for divorce vary with countries and couples. Where marriage is viewed as a contract, divorce is handled differently from where it is considered a status. Generally, though, divorces are either no-fault or at-fault divorces.


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