Divorce can be scary and confusing. There are many variables to consider when filing for divorce. Taking that first step is the hardest one and finding the perfect lawyer to help you is imperative. Sarnacki Law Firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan, wants to help you. The first thing to decide is what type of divorce you are facing. Read on to learn more about the different types.

Fault/No-Fault & Contested/Uncontested Divorces

The state of Michigan is a no-fault state. No-fault means that you can divorce for any reason and not follow the rules of at-fault divorce. An at-fault divorce proceeding means you have to prove that your spouse was at fault for the breakup of the marriage.

A contested divorce occurs when spouses disagree on a settlement. This disagreement usually means entering into court proceedings to dissolve the marital assets. Whereas an uncontested divorce means you both agree, and proceedings move quicker at a cheaper cost.

Out-of-Court Options

Out-of-court options avoid court appearances, often making it more convenient for everyone involved, including children.

Collaborative divorce has spouses working with an attorney to negotiate an agreement where spouses come together to make proceedings faster and easier.

Arbitration occurs when spouses hire a private judge to work out details of the divorce settlement. Each spouse makes arguments and presents evidence before the impartial arbitrator, who then decides the terms.

Mediation is when spouses hire a neutral third party to negotiate divorce terms. Each spouse may speak, then voluntarily agree to a settlement that works for everyone.

Litigation, Summary, & Default Divorces

When spouses cannot voluntarily agree to a divorce settlement, they must face litigation proceedings in a courtroom with a judge. These divorces are costly and long.

A summary divorce requires court appearances but is faster and requires fewer appearances than litigation. In a summary divorce, couples have few marital assets, no children, and no desire for alimony.

When one half of a marriage files for a divorce but the other spouse doesn’t participate, this is a default divorce. If the non-participating person doesn’t comply, the judge issues a divorce without their input.

Less Common Types of Divorce

Separation is an alternative to divorce in which the marriage does not end, but assets, children, and alimony are settled between opposing spouses. This means the separation is under court supervision like some forms of divorce. This supervision becomes beneficial if one spouse does not follow the arrangement.

Another form of divorce that is less common is the DIY divorce. In this type of divorce, the parties file documents and manage their settlement without legal representation. Before deciding on this type of divorce, courts recommend speaking to an attorney to ensure that nothing is left out or is filed incorrectly.  

Now that you understand the different types of divorce, you should have a better grasp on which your are dealing with or will work best for your situation. Your next step should include hiring an experienced and caring attorney to help you. Sarnacki Law Office offers both and wants to be there for you. Call our office today for more information.