Types of Divorce: Making the Modern Divorce More Bearable

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Divorce has long been considered a contentious, angry process in which the only winners are the attorneys. Although divorce can be as horrible as the stereotypes, there have been many improvements made to simplify the process.

A major step forward in divorce today is the fact that most states now allow a divorce to be granted on no-fault grounds. In those states, if a divorce is litigated, the court is only required to hear certain testimony, such as whether the parties are incompatible and whether the parties have lived separate and apart for a certain amount of time. This allows the parties involved in the divorce to avoid the need to air private matters that occurred within the confines of their personal lives as a married couple.

Collaborative divorce is another option that allows a divorce to remain amicable and relatively free of conflict. In collaborative divorce, everyone agrees to settle the divorce outside of the courtroom. Husband and wife work together with their lawyers to resolve their issues, including property, debt, child support, spousal support, custody and visitation.

Attorneys are involved in a collaborative divorce, but they are retained only for settlement negotiations. If it happens that no settlement is reached, neither attorney is allowed to work for their client in the trial. This may motivate the attorneys to work as hard as possible to help their clients reach solutions to problems that may arise during the process.

Mediated divorce is yet another option. Mediation involves the husband and wife meeting with a neutral third party called a mediator to resolve sticking points in the divorce. In a mediated divorce parties are sometimes able to reach an agreement without the involvement of an attorney, drastically reducing legal fees.

Although divorce isn’t easy, the choices now available enable parties to resolve their differences without lingering contention and, hopefully, without court involvement and determination of very personal aspects of the lives of each spouse.

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