Couples in Andover who want to end their marriage can choose from different kinds of divorce. But which of these kinds are right for you? The answer depends on some factors such as the state of your marriage, the parties’ willingness to settle, whether kids are involved, the assets you and your spouse own, and your goals after divorce. Every divorce is different, so you must ensure you approach your divorce the right way. This is possible when you work with a reliable Andover divorce lawyer.
Fault Versus No-Fault Divorce
In a fault-based divorce, there is a reason or ground to file for divorce. In a no-fault divorce, a spouse does not need grounds to file; instead, they only prove their marriage has broken down without accusing the other spouse for their wrongdoing. A fault-based divorce can be allowed for reasons such as adultery, desertion, impotence, at least five years of prison sentence, non-support, and others. The majority of divorces in the state of Massachusetts are no-fault divorces.
Contested Versus Non-Contested Divorce
A contested divorce occurs when both spouses cannot agree on even one issue in their divorce. This means they can’t reach a written agreement on the terms of their divorce, so they must pursue a contested no-fault divorce. In this case, the spouses may agree to end their marriage without agreeing on issues such as child custody, property division, alimony, and child support. Meanwhile, an uncontested divorce is possible if both spouses agree on the breakdown of their marriage and have reached a written agreement on all divorce terms.
Some spouses may initiate a contested no-fault divorce and understand the issues they do not agree on. In this case, they can request the family court to have an uncontested divorce. Also, a contested divorce is required if divorce is sought by only one spouse. Depending on the situation, this can apply in either fault or no-fault divorce.
The Right Type of Divorce for You
In Andover, spouses can file a fault uncontested divorce, fault contested divorce, no-fault uncontested divorce, or a no-fault contested divorce. A divorce attorney can help you determine what type of divorce applies to your specific situation.
Generally, an uncontested divorce is a faster, less stressful, and less costly type of divorce. But the outcome of your divorce is what matters. You and your spouse may be on amicable terms; however, you may not agree on an issue like child custody. If you cannot get the outcome you want through collaborative divorce, you may want to consider a contested divorce.