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Four Common Types Of Divorces

If you're researching divorce possibilities, it's important to be informed of all your possibilities. Once you're sure you're going to pursue a divorce, use this list of common types of divorces to help educate yourself so you can decide between the available options. 

1. Collaborative

This is one of the most amicable types of divorce. If you and your spouse largely get along and are able to make well-thought-out decisions together, this may be the ideal option. In collaborative divorces, you each hire a divorce lawyer, but all four of you work toward agreements together. Like a mediated divorce, collaborative divorces can be easier on children than other types of divorce.

2. Mediated

A mediated divorce is different than a collaborative divorce in that a third-party, neutral mediator is hired to find a tenable middle ground. The mediator isn't allowed to give legal advice and doesn't have loyalties to one spouse more than the other. Mediation can also be combined with another type of divorce, such as a litigated divorce, or you can go through mediation while following legal advice from your personal lawyer.

3. Arbitrated

An arbitrated divorce is somewhere between a mediated divorce and a litigated divorce. In an arbitrated divorce, the couple gets as far as possible in mutual agreement and then turns over the case to an arbitrator. It's a private setting, unlike a litigated divorce, but unlike with a mediated divorce, the settlements at hand are then decided entirely by the arbitrator rather than being arranged between the parties with the aid of a go-between. The arbitrator's decision is final, so you may or may not be able to get everything you want out of the settlement in this situation.

4. Litigated

This is the typical court divorce case, in which each side is represented by an attorney that advises and advocates for that side. In this case, the two sides are in conflict, meaning that the divorce is often much less amicable than a mediated divorce. The conflicting nature of this type can also mean that true agreement is never reached and that it takes much longer to reach a settlement.

These common types of divorces each have characteristic aspects and different benefits in different situations. You should work with your spouse to choose the type of divorce you want to have based on your circumstances and the state of your relationship. Remember to consult with your lawyer as well for expert legal advice.