When a divorce is contested, it can often take several months to resolve the issues. Sometimes it can take more than a year to resolve everything when there are significant issues that are in dispute.
Yet, because the parties are going through a divorce, they wish to move on with their lives. Waiting a long time can take a toll.
There are certain situations in which the parties can obtain what is known as a bifurcated divorce.
This means the parties can be divorced with a written decree signed by a Judge, while reserving certain issues for later resolution.
It is often helpful if the parties stipulate, or agree, to the terms of a bifurcated Decree of Divorce.
A bifurcated divorce is usually not advisable if it would incentivize one or both parties to continue litigating issues longer than they otherwise would. This is not an efficient use of judicial resources, not to mention the parties’ own resources.
Bifurcation will not work if one party needs to be maintained on the other party’s health insurance during the pendency of the divorce.
In addition, a bifurcated decree should typically reserve the issue of valuation of the parties’ retirement accounts.
It is helpful to consult an experience attorney for advice on situations in which a bifurcated divorce would be advisable.
This material should not be construed as legal advice for any particular fact situation, but is intended for general informational purposes only. For advice specific to any individual situation, an experienced attorney should be contacted.