A bifurcated divorce is a divorce separated into two parts: marital status and other issues.
Martial status is resolved first. The court terminates the marriage. The spouses are single again. Other issues are resolved at a later date.
For example, Darla cheats on her husband Ted. He discovers the infidelity. He wants a divorce now. A bifurcation in a divorce will give him the quick divorce he wants.
What Are the Other Issues Resolved Later?
The court set a trial date to resolve the following issues later:
The couple has the option to settle some or all of the issues out of court. For example, Ted and Darla agree on child custody and child support. However, they can’t agree on alimony and property distribution. The unresolved issues are decided in court.
States like Florida will not postpone the decision on child support and custody issues.
Why Would a Couple Choose a Two-Part Divorce?
The reasons a couple would pursue a bifurcation divorce vary from couple-to-couple. Some common reasons include:
- Desire to remarry
- Complicated financial issues
- Tax implications. A spouse may want to file as single instead of married filing separately.
- Personal issues like infidelity and domestic violence
- Prevent a spouse from using tactics to delay the divorce
Do All States Offer Bifurcation in Divorce?
No. The laws vary by state. California, Kansas and Alaska allow this type of divorce. Arizona, Michigan, New York, Texas and Nebraska don’t allow bifurcation in divorce. Other states like Florida will grant a bifurcated divorce, but under certain circumstances.
Do I Need an Attorney Specializing in Divorce Law?
Each state has different laws regarding a bifurcated divorce. So it may be wise to consult with a divorce lawyer to understand your rights and possibly obtaining a bifurcated divorce. Also, a lawyer experienced in divorce law will assist in navigating though intricate divorce laws.