Legal News

type of divorce

Different Types Of Laws Related To Divorce In The US

The divorce process is no different from that of any other relationship, and it can take a variety of forms. During this complicated process, everyone faces a number of financial issues, custody disputes, and property settlements, as well as a tremendous amount of emotional strain. There are many ways to divorce or dissolve a marriage, and although you might assume that a court appearance will inevitably follow, it isn't always the case. Ninety percent of divorces in the United States are settled outside of court since both parties can agree on issues such as custody, alimony, and property division without the direct involvement of a judge. 

Working together during the divorce process, rather than going to court, is what determines how your divorce in most cases. Learn what you should know if you're considering or going through a divorce, along with the repercussions it could have on you and your spouse. 


1. Fault And No-Fault Divorce


The two main forms of divorce are fault divorce and no-fault divorce. Divorces without fault are those in which neither partner takes responsibility for the breakdown of the relationship. All 50 states allow couples to divorce without proving fault. Several states only allow no-fault divorce. When the filing spouse requests a divorce, they do not have to list specific instances of marital misconduct but rather the state's legal grounds for no-fault divorce.

A divorce may be granted if you have been separated for a certain amount of time in some states. Generally speaking, a divorce based on separation is not considered a "no-fault" divorce, however, it allows the spouses to divorce without blaming the other spouse or putting blame on them.

In a no-fault divorce, a spouse who has changed their mind about being married may obtain a divorce without proving fault. Until recently, spouses could only leave a marriage if they could prove specific misconduct. It is no longer necessary for a couple to remain married if they do not wish to. The judge will grant your divorce even if one spouse disagrees with it. These requirements are outlined by the state.

Divorces that are fault-based require the filing spouse to allege that the other spouse engaged in certain conduct that caused the divorce. The fault-based divorce process is still available in only a few states. A fault divorce is more expensive and time-consuming than a no-fault divorce because both spouses must prove the other spouse's misconduct was the cause of the marriage failing.

It may be possible for some couples to skip the state's mandatory waiting period for divorce by using the fault divorce process. Some people opt for this method because the judge's final decision may be influenced by your proof of certain misconduct (depending on your state's laws).

In the absence of fault, a judge will typically proceed with the no-fault divorce process if you can't prove your responsibility for the marriage breakdown. In some cases, if you use the fault process frivolously, your spouse may be required to pay for your legal fees.


2. Collaborative Divorce


To achieve this, you will need to work with lawyers who are specially trained to resolve divorces in this manner. It is mandatory for both spouses to hire their own lawyers, and all of them must cooperate in the process with the sole aim of resolving the matter. As often as necessary, both spouses and their lawyers will meet to attempt to resolve the dispute by disclosing all the information necessary for fair negotiations.

If you don't reach a settlement through the collaborative process, you will have to replace your original attorneys and retain new attorneys to proceed in court. In doing this, all parties are assured that they are acting in good faith, without any motivation to deviate from settlement goals.


3. Default Divorce


When your spouse does not respond to your divorce petition, you will have a default divorce. When your spouse has left for unknown regions, and you are unable to locate them, for example, you'll likely see this.

Despite your spouse's absence from the divorce proceedings, a judge can grant a divorce if you've followed the court's rules and regulations. A situation such as this may seem ideal from the outside. The court is not in a position to contest the award you are seeking. A default divorce does have some advantages, but it also has some disadvantages.


4. Uncontested Divorce


As far as dealing with the court system is concerned, uncontested divorces produce the least stress. It describes an agreement that you and your spouse sign up front, including all issues related to child custody, visitation, child support, alimony, and division of property. A "property settlement agreement" (also known as a "separation agreement" or "separation agreement") will be drafted following your settlement.

Your divorce will be granted once you have settled your case with the court. Courts speed up the divorce process in these types of cases, so it is almost always possible to get divorced relatively quickly. If you do not want to appear in court, you can submit an affidavit (sworn statement) to the court clerk instead.


5. Contested Divorce


When you and your spouse cannot agree on a marital issue or issue(s), a judge will decide which ones need to be resolved by a court. Another way to put it is contested divorce means there is a conflict between the parties.

There are many stresses, time-consuming tasks, and money-consuming elements to divorce, despite having contested grounds (think mounting attorney fees). Your divorce process will involve exchanging financial information and negotiating settlements, as well as appearing before the court for temporary relief, such as interim alimony.

The case will be tried in court if you are not able to resolve it after all that. Divorce cases that are contested are usually settled before trial because of the burdens involved.


6. Same-Sex Divorce


According to the United States Supreme Court, same-sex marriages have been legalized throughout the nation since 2015. In other countries or states where marriage was legal, same-sex couples had difficulty getting a divorce before this ruling. A California couple with a recognized marriage could not divorce in a state that does not recognize their marriage. In some states, couples couldn't legally end their legal marriage because of stringent residency requirements.

As long as they meet the residency requirements and waiting periods for each state, couples of the same gender who are married in the United States (or a foreign country) may divorce in any state. In the modern world, the legal process for a divorce between same-gender couples and opposite-gender couples is the same.


7. Summary Divorce


After the divorce is finalized, couples who file for summary divorce usually forfeit their right to spousal support. Compared to an uncontested divorce, it is generally less expensive, requires fewer papers, and is easier to process. Following the filing of a summary divorce petition, a settlement agreement must be prepared for court approval. The judge must sign your divorce order before it becomes effective. It depends on the state whether summary divorce is available and what rules apply, but many states allow couples with children or property to use this method of divorce.


8. Arbitration 


It may be better to go to divorce arbitration to resolve your divorce issues than to go to trial in the event you and your spouse cannot agree on a divorce settlement. Neither spouse may begin the divorce process without their consent, and they must choose the arbitrator. Most often, an attorney or retired judge is selected as the arbitrator.

As opposed to mediation, where the mediator can only provide suggestions and guide you toward a mutually acceptable agreement, arbitration can assist both parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement between them. A decision is rendered by an arbitrator in arbitration, which operates more like a court proceeding.

A conference room or private office is usually used to present both sides' cases to the arbitrator. A binding order will be issued by the arbitrator after he or she evaluates all evidence and issues a conclusion and ruling. Mediation or uncontested divorce is usually quicker and more cost-effective than divorce arbitration.




Many people believe that filing a divorce petition is common, but that is not true. Divorce is a complicated process that is not suited to a one-size-fits-all solution. There is no one way to divorce, and the process, timeframe, and cost differ from couple to couple. Everything depends on how well the couple communicates and how willing they are to make sacrifices for the outcome. The ending of a marriage can be achieved in other ways than through divorce.

In order to obtain an absolute divorce judgment, a judge can follow a variety of procedures. To make understanding easier, each of these divorce methods is classified as a different type of divorce in legal practice.

Subscribe Your Email for Newsletter