California changed the way we look at divorce and made it easier to get out of a marriage by passing the first no- fault divorce laws in 1970. Before that, there had to be fault found before one spouse could leave a marriage. The fault were the “grounds” for the divorce and included such things as adultery, physical or mental cruelty and desertion.
Many states still allow fault divorce and take into consideration the wrong doing of a spouse. Most also allow no – fault divorce. No – fault is exactly as it sounds: No one is at fault for the failure of the marriage. In some states, even if there was some misconduct by a spouse it does not matter. The reasons for acquiring a divorce may be as simple as incompatibility or irreconcilable differences. There doesn’t have to be any further explanation or proof that the marriage should continue.
An uncontested divorce takes place when both spouses reach a mutual agreement to end the marriage. They are able to come to an agreement regarding division of property, any financial issues, children and other contentious issues. Uncontested divorces are simple and quick but they can cause people to give up rights they did not know they had. Rights such as alimony, a division of pension benefits, income from real estate and other sources of income. It is always prudent to consult an attorney, even if you and your soon to be spouse are on the best of terms.
Simplified divorces are uncontested, no – fault divorces where there is no conflict between the spouses. Usually simplified divorce takes place in marriages of short duration where there are no children and very few marital assets to bicker over.
State laws differ on simplified divorce but, if your state allows it, it is a less expense and less stress way to go. Simplified divorces are usually granted quickly, normally within 30 days of filing.
Limited divorce is similar to a legal separation and is not allowed in some states. Usually couples who need to arrange their finances and settle other issues will choose a limited divorce to give them time. As in a legal separation, spouses must live separately and can’t have sexual relations with each other or other people. Limited divorces also gives spouses time to come to an agreement on issues such as dividing up pension funds, division of property, child custody and visitation and alimony before the divorce becomes final.