Legally ending a marriage can be a complicated and confusing process, especially because no two divorces are exactly the same. In fact, there are multiple different types of divorce in Arizona, including contested divorce, uncontested divorce, collaborative divorce, and legal separation. Here are some frequently asked questions our Mesa divorce and family law attorneys hear about the different types of divorce in Arizona:
What Is the Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is what everyone hopes for: a divorce where both parties are in agreement about the terms of a divorce, including how property should be divided, with whom shared children will live and what the terms of visitation will be, and whether or not an alimony award should be part of the divorce settlement. In a contested divorce, on the other hand, a separating couple does not agree on these issues. With a contested divorce, the benefits of an attorney are obvious; however, even if your divorce is uncontested, a legal opinion is strongly valued.
What Is a Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is a very unique way of resolving contested issues in a divorce. In this type of divorce, parties decide to collaborate, working together in an amicable fashion to negotiate a divorce settlement. Parties and their lawyers both agree not to litigate a case; if litigation is necessary, both lawyers agree to resign from the case.
What’s the Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce?
A legal separation is very similar to a divorce in Arizona – parties will still need to come to an agreement about important issues, however, they will still be legally married in the eyes of the law, and therefore cannot remarry without divorcing. Legal separation is a great option for couples who want to spend time apart but aren’t ready to finalize the dissolution of their marriage. Talk to your attorney to learn more.
What Other Importance Divorce Terms Should I Know?
In addition to the types of divorce listed above, there are also a couple of important terms you should know about divorce in Arizona. These include:
- Mediation. Mediation is a method of resolving issues in a divorce without, or prior to, litigation. In mediated sessions, couples discuss and negotiate divorce issues with a third-party mediator, who is a neutral party who helps to facilitate the conversation.
- Arbitration. Arbitration refers to the process of hiring a private judge, or arbitrator, to hire a dispute. Arbitration can be expensive, but can also result in a quicker resolution of divorce issues than litigation. Arbitration is also less formal than is litigation.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Many people who are seeking the termination of their marriage wonder whether or not they really need an attorney to represent them during the divorce process. At the law offices of Edwards & Petersen, PLC, our Mesa family law attorneys always encourage individuals to seek legal counsel when ending a marriage. There are numerous legal issues to navigate when filing for divorce or a legal separation; an attorney can help to ensure that your best interests are protected, and advise you during negotiations, mediation, arbitration, or litigation.
To learn more about how our divorce attorneys can represent you, please call our legal team today or send us a message telling us more about your case. We have a reputation you can trust.