Coming to the decision to dissolve a marriage is a difficult step for any couple, and after deciding on a divorce they will have to decide which type of divorce to proceed with. The type of divorce that is most appropriate for you will depend on your unique situation, and the current state of your relationship with your spouse. No matter which type of divorce is best for you, it is highly recommended that you work with a reputable divorce attorney to ensure that your interests are properly represented. Some of the most common types of divorce include:
A contested divorce is reserved for couples who argue and cannot come to an agreement about the division of assets, repayment of debts, and child custody. In these cases, the couple will appear before a judge for hearings and settlement negotiations. In highly contested divorces, it is possible for the case to go to trial. If you believe that you will be going through a contested divorce, it is essential to hire an experienced divorce attorney.
Some couples realize that their marriage is over, but they are still to come to mutual agreement about the terms of their divorce. In these types of divorces, paperwork can be filed, and you and your spouse will most likely not even have to appear in court. While an uncontested divorce is typically amicable, it is still in your best interest to hire a lawyer, or have a lawyer review the terms that you and your spouse have agreed upon, before anything becomes legally binding.
While the vast majority of people get married believing that their union will last forever, many marriages only last a few years. A couple who has not been married long, has no children, owns little or no property, and have not acquired a large amount of joint debt may want to consider a summary divorce. This is one of the simplest types of divorces available, and typically only involves completing and filing a few documents. This is a rare instance where you may be okay taking care of the divorce yourself instead of hiring a lawyer.
A lot of couples do not agree on all terms of a divorce, but would like to avoid a long, drawn-out court process, so they opt for a mediated divorce. In this type of a divorce you and your spouse will meet with a third party, called a mediator, who is trained to help with communication and assist couples resolve issues that they may have with the divorce terms. Mediators do not have the legal authority to make any decisions in a divorce case, so if mediation fails a contested divorce is usually the next step. It is a good idea to always have a divorce lawyer (such as one from Tracy McMurtrie Luck & Associates) present during mediation to ensure that you understand all of the legal details being discussed.