What are the Different Types of Divorce and Which One is Right for You?

Male businessman and businesswoman choose different directions at the crossroads

Did you know that there is more than one way to dissolve a marriage? In fact, there are several ways a couple can get divorced, and it can have a significant impact on the outcome, your well being, resources, and more.

The type of divorce you have is typically determined by how willing you are your spouse are to work together during the divorce process instead of going to battle in court. If you're considering or are in the midst of a divorce, make sure you learn more about four common types of divorce and what each could mean for you and your spouse.

Is Colorado a Fault-Based or No-Fault Divorce State?

Colorado is purely a no-fault divorce state, meaning one spouse does not have to prove the breakdown of the marriage is the other spouse's fault. Instead, in a no-fault divorce, you merely indicate that:

  • The marriage is irretrievably broken
  • You have irreconcilable differences
  • You are incompatible as a couple

In a fault-based divorce, the plaintiff (the spouse who files for the divorce) claims there is a reason he or she is filing for a divorce. Some of the most common grounds include adultery, addiction, abandonment, and abuse.

Now that you have a better understanding of fault-based and no-fault divorces, we can investigate the different kinds of Colorado divorce processes.

The Different Types of Divorce in CO

1. Mediated Divorce

A mediated divorce is when both parties meet with a trained third-party to guide them through the divorce process. The mediator's role is to assist the couple in working out divorce-related problems like property division, maintenance, child support, and child custody.

The mediation process is not legally binding until the paperwork is submitted to the court. Therefore, nothing in the mediation process is set in stone until the divorce is finalized.

2. Collaborative Divorce

In this type of divorce, each spouse hires his or her own attorney, and the parties meet to settle the terms of the divorce amicably. Some don't like the mediation process because they aren't personally represented, but they still want to skip the traditional courtroom process. Another viable option is a collaborative approach. It allows both couples to be represented by their own attorneys, giving each side personal insight into the law while amicably settling the terms of their divorce.

A collaborative divorce is cheaper than a traditional divorce, but both parties must be willing to compromise.

3. Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested divorces are when both parties agree on every aspect of the divorce process.

Some things both parties must agree on to qualify for an uncontested divorce:

  • Property division
  • Child custody arrangements
  • Child support
  • Alimony payments (if any)

An uncontested divorce is the easiest and cheapest divorce option available, but it is not common. Spouses who are ending their marriage are rarely on the same page about every aspect of their divorce. If you and your spouse agree on all aspects of your divorce, you should still hire an attorney to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

4. Contested Divorce

A contested divorce occurs when two parties can't come to a total agreement concerning the outcome of their divorce. For example, if both parties agree on 95% of the issues but can't see eye-to-eye on the last 5% of the problems, the divorce is technically a contested divorce.

While the phrase "contested divorce" sounds inherently combative, there are several ways to deal with a contested divorce – some more adversarial than others. In some cases, the terms can be settled through negotiation, while others may have to go through litigation.

Choose a Divorce Process That's Right for You

It's important to think about which option is right for you before diving into the divorce process. If you have questions about which option is right for you, talking to an attorney about your situation can help calm your concerns.

Schedule a consultation with our Colorado Springs lawyers today by calling us at (719) 626-8530.