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Three Interesting Alternatives to Traditional Divorce

by Layla Bryant

Going through a divorce is an extremely stressful time in anyone's life. A traditional divorce is time-consuming and could even involve a court trial. Fortunately, there are several good alternatives to a traditional divorce that can make the process easier and more streamlined. This article takes a look at three of these important options.

Summary Divorce

Summary divorce is a procedure that ends a marriage without all of the complexities of a traditional divorce. It will typically involve less paperwork and a fewer number of appearances before a judge than a traditional divorce. Most states and jurisdictions allow summary divorces, but you will need to check your state and local laws to be certain.

Whether or not you are eligible for a summary divorce depends on the laws of your state. Although state laws vary, certain requirements are usually present. For instance, most states require that the marriage is five years old or less and that no minor children are involved. Also, state laws generally do not allow summary divorces when the amount of property that needs to be divided is extensive. Both sides will typically need to give up any right to alimony as well.


Another interesting alternative to traditional divorce is known as bifurcation. This procedure splits up the divorce into two separate events. The first step is to legally dissolve the marriage. Only at a later stage do you and your spouse deal with splitting up your marital property. In some circumstances, using this procedure can be quite advantageous. For example, if you are looking to marry someone else and do not want to wait, bifurcation allows you to end the marriage and marry the other person without waiting for complex property issues to be resolved.


Divorcing couples with outstanding issues can enter the mediation process to avoid a drawn-out court trial. The mediation process involves you and your attorney dealing with your spouse and their attorney through the intervention of a mediator. The trained mediator listens to both sides and attempts to come up with fair solutions to the contested issues. If the mediator is successful and both sides accept his recommendations, then the divorce can be settled amicably within a short period of time.

Most people going through a divorce want the process to get done as quickly and simply as possible. To learn more about these streamlined divorce procedures, contact an experienced divorce lawyer in your town or city.