If you’re looking to get your marriage dissolved, but you don’t know which procedure to choose, then it’s best to know about them first, especially divorce.
What makes divorce different
Annulment is a legal procedure that makes a marriage void, meaning it completely invalidates the union. That means that once filed and processed, there had been no marriage at all in the eyes of the law. Meanwhile, legal separation happens when a couple are allowed to live apart from each other yet are still considered married in the eyes of the law.
What makes divorce different from these two is the fact that not only does the couple have their union legally dissolved and the two individuals are allowed to marry again, but records of their previous marriage still remain.
Kinds of divorce
1. Fault and no-fault For grounds of a divorce, you must have proof that your spouse has done something that isn’t allowed within a marriage, such as cheating or adultery, and desertion, which are called “faults”. This used to be the only way to dissolve a marriage, though some jurisdictions still require proof of fault to allow a divorce.
The latter is the opposite of fault divorce. In jurisdictions that allow this, there’s no need to present proof of fault and this protects both the privacy and dignity of both parties. Instead, you and your spouse can either claim that the marriage has broken down (called “irretrievable breakdown”) or say that there are far too many differences between the both of you that the marriage has become irreparable (“irreconcilable differences”) without needing to explain why or provide details.
2. Summary If the two previous kinds don’t seem appealing to you, then there’s the summary divorce, in which the court takes into consideration a few important factors that would be grounds for a divorce. Some of these are:
• A short marriage (actual length depends on the jurisdiction); • No children, or custody has already been resolved outside of the court; • No real property or mortgage; and • Property of either spouse or marital property is under a threshold (usually $35,000, but not including vehicles).
3. Uncontested A little similar to the no-fault divorce, but with key differences: Both you and your spouse can come to an agreement even without lawyers or other mediators about properties and child custody. There will not be a trial and sometimes appearing in court isn’t needed.
4. Mediated A neutral third party called a mediator will sit in while you and your spouse attempt to resolve issues such as properties and child custody and support and works to help them come to an agreement. However, the mediator is not allowed to make decisions, only to help both of you communicate better, such as soothe tempers if an argument breaks out.
5. Collaborative In this, your lawyers will work together to come to an agreement for you. Both your and your spouse set your terms to your lawyers, who then attempt to settle the matter. If they cant come to a conclusion, then you’re allowed to hire a new one to represent you.
6. Default If you file for divorce but your spouse doesn’t appear in court for whatever reason or doesn’t participate at all, the divorce is automatically granted.
Any of these are viable ways of getting your marriage dissolved, but if you decide to go through legal means, it’s recommended that you get an experienced and competent lawyer. Going through a divorce is very difficult, even if it’s made simple by filing and signing papers and appearing in court, and having a good lawyer representing you can help take some pressure off your shoulders.