How Will This Marriage End?

If your marriage is about to be over, know that there is more than one way to go about things. Read on and learn more about the various ways for a couple to legally end their marriage.

Agree to Disagree

An uncontested divorce is the easiest way to end a (legal) marriage. When a divorce is uncontested, it doesn't just mean that you both agree on the divorce but also on every single divorce issue. As a refresher, common divorce issues include child custody and visitation, splitting up marital property, and dividing up marital debts. Sit down with your spouse and agree to things. Then, each of you should consult with a lawyer to ensure that the agreements are fair and legal before you file for divorce.

Divorce by Default

Unfortunately, some parties are so far off on the agreement that they cannot even agree to divorce. However, you cannot be made to stay married to anyone if you don't want that. If your spouse does not want to divorce, proceed with caution and speak to a lawyer. You must make a legitimate effort to serve your spouse with divorce papers and wait a given amount of time for them to respond. If they do not respond, you will be divorced by default, and everything asked for in the petition will be ordered. That means if you ask for full physical custody of a child, you will get it if your spouse fails to respond.

Never Really Married

An annulment is not a form of divorce, but it can be a way to legalize a non-marriage act. Annulments are reserved for cases in which the parties married without a license, or the parties could not have a legal marriage based on the laws of the state. Those who are already married, for instance, cannot be legally married to anyone else.

Fault Divorce

While no-fault divorce is available everywhere, sometimes a party wants the divorce to be about fault. When you name a fault or two, it could influence issues like custody, property, spousal support, and debt. Common forms of fault include infidelity, abandonment, spousal abuse, and more. These faults must be proven to be used in a fault divorce, however.

Collaborative Divorce

This form of divorce is not necessarily connected to legal forms of divorce, but it can be helpful for parties that want an uncontested divorce but have a few issues to iron out first. Collaborative divorce is handled by lawyers that are all-in on this way of doing things. The couple participates in a relaxed process of working out differences which are then codified in a legal agreement.

Speak to a divorce lawyer to find out more.