Different Types of Divorce

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Getting a divorce can be a stressful decision. Supposing you have not been through anything like this, it may be confusing to hear the different terminology; therefore, it is helpful to understand the jargon used throughout the process. Divorce is not a binary process; several types of divorce result — the different kinds of divorce result from the circumstances and the decisions of the people divorcing.

How Long Does a Divorce Take? What to Do When Considering Divorce

What Are the Various Types of Divorce?

Here is a simple understanding of each type of divorce.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is the most straightforward type to complete. In this kind of divorce, both parties agree that they want to divorce, and they also agree to the terms of the divorce, which include child custody, child support, division of assets, and other factors. That means they can move through the process faster, and their divorce will also typically cost less.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is one in which one party wants the divorce, and the other does not, and/or the parties cannot agree on the divorce terms. They may argue over their marital assets’ division or disagree about handling custody or child support arrangements. If they can’t agree, their divorce can take longer and cost more, even if the parties ultimately end up agreeing later.

Default Divorce

A default divorce comes about when one party to the divorce has done everything through proper legal channels, but the other party refuses to do anything at all. They don’t respond to the petition, show up in court, or do anything they’re supposed to do as part of the divorce process. The judge will eventually grant the divorce anyway, as long as all other legal requirements have been satisfied.

At-Fault Divorce

In an at-fault divorce, one party is at-fault as proscribed by law. Most people assume the fault is cheating, but that’s not the only reason someone can get this kind of divorce. Other circumstances can cause an at-fault ruling on a divorce case, and Georgia law provides twelve reasons that would qualify for an at-fault divorce.

No-Fault Divorce

With a no-fault divorce, it’s agreed that neither party did anything wrong. The marriage just didn’t work out, and it wasn’t because of something specific that one party did or didn’t do. “Irreconcilable differences,” or a similar term, describe a no-fault divorce. Generally, it involves a more straightforward process than an at-fault divorce; however, that’s not always the case.

Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce still results in a divorce but involves specialists to help the parties through the complex parts of a divorce. It is a calmer and gentler process.


What Are the Alternatives to Divorce?

In addition to different types of divorces, there are alternatives to divorce. These might not be right for specific situations and couples, but there are times when they can be the right option. Here are the main alternatives to consider.


There are particular situations in which a couple can get an annulment. Usually, there has to be fraud or other ill intent, and the parties have not consummated the marriage. If you and your spouse lived as a married couple, or you’ve been married for some time, an annulment is generally impossible. Exceptions may apply.

Separation (Separate Maintenance)

A separate maintenance action is an action where the parties resolve all of the issues that are decided in a divorce and live apart, but they remain legally married. There are many situations in which completing a divorce isn’t feasible, such as religious views and health insurance considerations, and separate maintenance action can be a good option instead.


Get the Help You Need at Stearns Montgomery & Proctor

With the different types of divorce and alternatives to divorce, couples can find the option that will work for them. Whether they’re in agreement or it turns into a fight, there will be options to help them through the process. Turn to the divorce attorneys at Stearns Law. To get started, contact our team online today.