While a divorce might seem like a standardized process, any experienced divorce attorney in Colorado will tell you that this isn’t quite the case. In
While a divorce might seem like a standardized process, any experienced divorce attorney in Colorado will tell you that this isn’t quite the case. In fact, there are many different types of divorces that result from the changing needs and goals of each spouse. While most anyone would prefer an uncontested divorce where each spouse agrees on things like division of property and any child custody issues, this isn’t a reality for everyone.
So, if you’re pursuing a divorce, it’s important to first know which type of divorce is right for you and your family. Like many things, this all begins with education. That’s why, in this article, we’re taking a closer look at the different types of divorce. By understanding these five common types of divorce in Colorado, you’ll be better able to prepare yourself for what lies ahead so you can set realistic goals for your divorce.
5 Different Types of Divorces
While going through a divorce might seem like a standard process, this isn’t always the case. In fact, most divorce lawyers will tell you that each divorce is truly a unique process as the two spouses will always have a unique relationship. However, despite this, there are still five primary types of divorces that account for the majority of divorce cases you’ll see.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these five common types of divorces in more detail:
- Uncontested divorce: it’s no secret that this type of divorce is the ideal goal for most couples. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses have essentially agreed to significant terms before the separation has even begun. This means that both parties have agreed to legally end their marriage and other key factors, such as how assets and property will be divided and what to do with any child custody concerns. As one would expect, this willingness to work together makes the divorce process much smoother and more efficient for everyone involved—this includes the divorce attorneys themselves as they will have less work to do, making the divorce more affordable for each spouse.
- Mediated divorce: if an uncontested divorce is out of the question, couples may turn to a mediated divorce. This can be beneficial in scenarios when the spouses can’t agree on specific terms. These may include issues such as dividing up property, how to deal with certain assets, alimony payments, child custody, and more. When the spouses can’t agree on these terms, they may need a third-party mediator who can help them make decisions on these issues. A mediator may be a retired judge or simply another attorney. It’s important to also know that the mediator does not provide direct legal assistance to either party directly. Instead, the mediator functions more like a bridge between each of the spouses to help them reach a settlement.
- Litigated divorce: for even more challenging divorces, you may have to turn to a litigated divorce. What does this mean? Essentially, a litigated divorce means that the former spouses cannot come to terms on certain issues even after receiving help from a mediator or their own divorce attorneys. In these cases, your divorce lawyer will file a petition for divorce and then the courts will become involved in the process via court hearings.
In some scenarios, this can even result in a divorce trial where the courts will step in to determine the best way to divide up property or determine alimony payments or child custody. The courts will work to ensure that the divorce is as equitable as possible. However, it’s also important to know that these divorces tend to be the most expensive as they drag on the longest.
- Collaborative divorce: in a collaborative divorce process, each spouse will have their own divorce attorney who represents their interests throughout the divorce. When working closely with experienced divorce attorneys, a collaborative divorce can help you avoid taking the divorce to court for a final agreement, which can make the divorce faster and more cost-effective. In this type of divorce, it requires that both parties will commit to finding a resolution rather than forcing a more adversarial, combative approach.
- Legal separation: in some instances, a couple may not want to be together, but at the same time, they don’t feel like they’re quite ready for an official divorce. To address this middle ground, a couple has the option to file for legal separation. This can be ideal for couples who feel like their marriage isn’t working and feel like they need some time and space to work on their issues.
For many couples, it can be worthwhile to consider a legal separation before deciding on pursuing an actual divorce. A legal separation provides spouses with distance and space, but it does not officially dissolve their marriage. After a six month period, either party in the legal separation may request the court convert the legal separation into a decree of dissolution.
Conclusion – What Type of Divorce is Right for You?
Without a doubt, there’s no such thing as an “easy” divorce—no matter your circumstances or relationship with your former spouse. Even in the most ideal of scenarios, such as an uncontested divorce, a divorce can be stressful, emotionally traumatic, time-consuming, and at the end of it all, rather expensive. But if you know which type of divorce will work for you and your circumstances, then the entire process can ideally become faster, more efficient, and as a result, less costly for everyone involved.
Whether you’re pursuing an uncontested divorce, mediated divorce, collaborative divorce, or even a legal separation, make sure that you don’t embark on this alone. Ensure that your interests and rights are protected by hiring an experienced divorce attorney who can walk you through each step of the divorce. They can help you meet deadlines, file all the necessary paperwork, and negotiate on your behalf with other lawyers. And if your case does end up going to trial, they’ll defend you in court.