Kinds of divorceSeveral types of divorce are available to couples wishing to go their separate ways. Choosing the right divorce will ensure you are able to progress in a way that is suitable for your circumstances.

Let’s take a look at the different kinds of divorce available across the country so that you have all of the information you need to make a decision.

Types of Divorce: A Comparison Table

Here are the different types of divorces to be aware of:

Types of Divorce The Basis for This Divorce Short or Long Process
At-fault divorce One partner has committed wrongdoing during the marriage. Long
No-fault divorce Neither party is at fault for the marriage ending. Short
Contested divorce One partner is not in agreement with the terms of the divorce. Long
Uncontested divorce Both parties agree to the settlement for a divorce, and it is not being argued. Short
Summary divorce When parties have not been together long, and there are no children involved or large assets to divide. Short
Default divorce When one party does not respond to the paperwork or divorce proceedings. Long

Different Types of Divorce

Unfortunately, some marriages can end in divorce. Indeed, there are different types of divorces you should be aware of. This includes some peaceful separations, as well as some conflict scenarios.

  1. At-Fault Divorce

An at-fault divorce is when one partner seeks legal separation from their husband or wife because of something they have done wrong during the marriage. Namely, these actions are deemed serious and cannot be fixed. This can include adultery and abandonment.

Normally, an at-fault divorce will require one partner to prove that the other committed wrongdoing during the marriage. In other words, you will have to have evidence of this behavior.

Note that at-fault divorces are not an option available in every state. In fact, only a few still recognize this type of divorce. In this case, it is possible that the person at fault for the divorce can contribute more financially during the separation.

– Grounds for an At-Fault Divorce

You can select from several grounds if you want to file an at-fault divorce. There are a few common ones and others that are only available in certain states. For example, for those states that allow at-fault divorces, the usual grounds are:

  • Adultery
  • Mental illness
  • Criminal conviction
  • Abandonment.

Some other grounds that are less common include:

  • Drug abuse
  • Religion
  • Impotency
  1. No-Fault Divorce

Just as the name suggests, a no-fault divorce is a proceeding that can work if no partners are deemed to be at fault for the failure of the marriage. In other words, nobody is going to need to prove any fault for the divorce to be granted. It is just a case of processing it.

No-fault divorces have been around since the 70s and are available in several states across the country. But, you may want to check that the state you live in considers no-fault divorces. Often, since there are no disagreements, a no-fault divorce is going to proceed through the courts quickly. It will simply be a case of filling out paperwork and a legal professional granting the divorce for the parties.

  1. Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is one where the spouses are not in agreement with the terms of that separation. One spouse might be contesting claims made by the other partner or disagree on specific terms that come from that divorce.

Some examples include:

  • How property is divided
  • That certain assets should be community property
  • That child custody is not fair
  • Visitation rights are being ignored
  • There should or should not be spousal support
  • The amount of child support is wrong

In a contested divorce, the issues will mean that it has to be taken to court. A judge is going to be the one that decides what happens in this case. It is recommended that you hire an attorney when going through a contested divorce. Their advice can be invaluable, and they will offer representation in court. Indeed, they will have the experience to know the best way to represent your interests.

– Duration

Note that a contested divorce can be long, expensive, and ugly. If you can, you want to avoid this route if possible. It may not be possible if you do not get along with your partner and disagree over a lot of settlement terms. But, if there is a way to work around them, you should try to do so.

  1. Uncontested Divorce

With an uncontested divorce, both parties to the marriage agree to the separation and the grounds for this legal divorce. Hence, it is called an uncontested divorce; neither spouse will disagree with the notion.

Uncontested divorce as type of divorceWith an uncontested divorce, it will be necessary for both people to create a settlement agreement. Both should sign this and agree to its contents. In other words, the parties will agree on how property and assets will be divided and the need for child support or alimony.

There will also be agreement on child custody and visitation rights if that applies to the situation.

Always check the regulations in your state when it comes to an uncontested divorce. There can be some necessary procedures and even ways to fast-track the separation from your spouse.

  1. Summary Divorce

A summary divorce is an option open to couples who have not been married for a long time. Often, this is only a few years or even several months. Summary divorce can be considered when there are no children involved in the marriage, and there are limited assets between them.

A summary divorce will require the partners to collaborate and work on the divorce together. So, you have to make sure that you are on talking terms with your partner for this to be successful. It can involve a lot less paperwork and be a less stressful process. In some cases, you will not even need to hire an attorney.

– Duration and Requirements

Typically, summary divorces are going to be quick and pain-free. Since you are in agreement with your partner, no one will feel upset about the decision. Just make sure that you know what the rules are in your state. Each state will define what they consider a summary divorce to be. There can be specific requirements to file for this type of divorce.

For example, some states will say that you cannot have marital property over $35,000. In addition, the requirements can mean that you have kids, but you are not able to claim spousal support. Always check the requirements to ensure this is the right avenue for you to go down.

  1. Default Divorce

A default divorce happens when your partner does not respond to the divorce paperwork you serve them with. In other words, if you give them the papers and they do not reply in any way, the court will agree to a default divorce after a certain amount of time.

Most of the time, a spouse will respond to divorce papers. But, it is important to be aware that simply ignoring the situation will not make the problem go away. Instead, it will mean that a judge deals with your case, and you do not get your day to say anything or respond to claims. Thus, it is always best to respond to divorce papers and not just delay the process any longer.

A default divorce will be useful if the spouse cannot be found. Thus, the other spouse does not have to live in limbo and wonder what will happen. Instead, after a certain length of time and giving the other spouse time to respond, a divorce will be granted.

– Duration

Therefore, be prepared for a default divorce to take longer than other methods. You may have to wait a long time to see if your partner responds. Each state will be different when it comes to how long the other person has to respond to a divorce proceeding. But, a divorce can be granted quickly after this period, and it means that you do not have to provide a lot of evidence.

Ways To File for Divorce

First of all, you want to know what type of divorce you want. Some are going to affect how you file for divorce. For example, if you and your partner decide on no-fault divorce, it will be best to discuss this with them; this can allow an amicable agreement to be reached first.

Filing for divorce will mean that there is some paperwork. Indeed, you will have to create divorce papers. Again, if you and your partner agree on the division of assets and what will happen with child custody, this can be included in the uncontested divorce paperwork.

You will need to get the divorce forms unique to each state. Often, this is found on the state court website. You will need to complete these forms. And then submit them to the clerk of the court. This takes place at the county clerk’s office that you will have to visit to start divorce proceedings. Be parped for a filing fee, which can happen with submitting divorce papers.

One spouse is going to file for divorce. The divorce papers will then be served to the other spouse. This can be done through mail or if a friend, family member, or yourself visits the person. A lawyer can help you if you are filing for other types of divorce, as they may have good advice about the best ways to do this.

Can You File for Divorce Without a Lawyer?

Yes, you can choose to file for divorce without having legal representation. It is your decision whether you want to have an attorney help and represent you in court or if you want to seek advice from them when filing for divorce.

If you and your partner agree on key points of a divorce, then there may be no need to hire an attorney. It may even be possible to file for divorce online in some states. However, if you anticipate that your divorce could be complicated and messy, it might be best to hire an attorney. This way, you can make sure that a fair decision is reached in the case, and you get everything you are entitled to.

In particular, if you have children, divorces can get complicated. An attorney can tell you your rights and how to secure the best environment for your children in a difficult situation. A lawyer will know the procedure for court and ensure you put your best foot forward.


Types of divorceIt is best to know about the divorce types in the United States so that if you are going through a separation, you know the best option for your situation.

Let’s summarize the types of divorce settlements open to you:

  • With an at-fault divorce, a spouse has done something wrong, leading to the other wanting to end the marriage.
  • A no-fault divorce means that the partners simply want to split up, and there is not one person being blamed for the failed marriage. Every state can be different when it comes to divorces, and it is best to check what the rules are.
  • If one spouse is not in agreement with the terms of the divorce, this is a contested divorce, while an uncontested is not argued.
  • A summary divorce will involve working together with your partner, but this can be worth it since there is less paperwork and hassle with this process.
  • If a partner does not respond to divorce paperwork sent to them, this can result in a default divorce.

Sometimes, a marriage needs to come to an end. This is a difficult time in your life, but when you choose the right type of divorce, you can ensure that you reach an outcome you will be content with. There are several options open to you, and if you are confused, there are attorneys that can assist you.

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