Monday, May 16, 2016

Five Types of Divorce

Divorce does not need to be complicated but there are things that you should know. There are different "types" of divorce.

The divorce process is pretty universal in all 50 states but the laws and requirements vary greatly from state to state.

It is important that you understand the type of divorce you want to file and the laws and requirements for your state before you begin.

Some states offer a simplified divorce option. This can be a great solution for those who truly agree on everything and meet all of the requirements for such a divorce. The problem with this type of divorce is during the divorce process if anything changes, you may end up having to start all over again. This is a limited option in most states and you must meet all of the criteria in order to file and be granted a simplified divorce.

Next there is the uncontested divorce. This is typically the preferred type of divorce to file. In some states, if both parties agree and are both willing to sign, a divorce can be granted without a court appearance by either party. In some states, the defendant/respondent can simply sign a Waiver and Acceptance of Service and be done. Some require a spouse to be formally served. Some states still require an appearance by at least one of the parties. The requirements vary from state to state.

Default divorce. This type of divorce requires only of the parties to sign and appear to finalize the divorce. Many people use a default divorce even if the divorce is uncontested because in some states, each party must pay a filing fee to file both a complaint/petition and a response.

Missing spouse divorce. This is much like a default divorce but the method of service is different. You must get a court order to serve your spouse by alternate means if you do not know how to locate them. You will need to provide proof to the court that you have used due diligence to locate your spouse and have been unable to. Some states allow you to serve by posting at the courthouse but most require that you place an ad with the summons in an approved newspaper for a specific time.

You cannot divorce a military member without including certain additional documents. We call this a military divorce. Military members are protected from spouses divorcing them without their knowledge when they are deployed. Service is also different for military members.

Lastly, there are annulments which are now very rare and very difficult to get. Every state now allows an uncontested divorce but there really is little need for annulment. In some states, in some cases annulment are still allowed but they tend to be much more difficult and costly than a regular divorce.

Getting an interstate divorce is just like any of the above divorces. Any type of divorce can be filed in any state.

It is important that you understand all of the types of divorce and know the laws and requirements in your state pertaining to each one.

There is a lot of information out there to help you, but it's always best to have someone with experience in the family law field assist you.

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