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What is Bifurcated Divorce?

What is Bifurcated Divorce?

Divorce is probably the toughest period of any marriage. These days, the rate of separation has been on the increase. The process of separation can be extremely lengthy. There are several things that are involved with a divorce. For instance, a divorce may not be finalized unless property separation, child custody, alimony, and many other aspects are not decided.

The best thing you can do in such a situation is to opt for a bifurcated divorce. This will allow you to remarry with the decision of the conclusion of the previous marriage. However, you must be aware of whether your state allows bifurcated-divorce or not.

Here is a broader understanding of the concept. Having prior knowledge will save you from a lot of trouble in case such a situation arises in your life.

Understanding the Basics of Bifurcated Divorce

Bifurcating is a power vested in the judges. In technical terms, judges can divide a trial into 2 or 3 parts. As a result, the judge can provide a judgment on individual parts of a trial so that each part does not require any decisions to be acted upon immediately.

A common example of bifurcation can be found in criminal cases. A bifurcation in criminal cases can be seen in most scenarios. Here, the judgment on the guilt of the defendant comes first, and then the punishment is decided.

In a typical divorce case, several issues are taken into consideration altogether, and then a decision comes regarding the separation. Bifurcation allows faster judgment on several issues that need clarification as soon as possible.

The most common form of bifurcated-divorce is when the actual decision of the separation is given at first, and then other issues related to the divorce are provided later.

To exemplify, you can request for a bifurcated-divorce to the court before other marital issues are resolved. The court will take your request into consideration. Therefore, you may get a sooner divorce decision from the court. The court will then allow you and your ex-spouse to resolve other related issues within yourselves. If that is not possible, the court will swoop in and provide a judgment.

Know, How to Serve Divorce Papers to Your Spouse?

Reasons behind Seeking Bifurcated-Divorce

One of the most common causes of bifurcating a divorce is remarrying someone else. Divorce cases can take years after years to be completed. Several issues are interlinked and involved with a divorce.

Sometimes you may not want to wait a whole year to be legally permitted to marry again. Even though you will be required to wait around 6 months after the judgment, it is better to have a final decision and then wait.

In addition to this, bifurcation can speed up the divorce process. For instance, property division is one of the most complex areas related to divorce. When the court is asked to bifurcate the property division decision, other processes may complete faster. Smooth completion of the most complicated area can quicken other simpler aspects in the process.

What are the Benefits of a Bifurcated Divorce?

If you are going through a divorce, bifurcating the separation decision may be just the right thing for you. Here is why:

The obvious one: Remarriage

The most significant benefit you can enjoy from bifurcating the divorce is marrying someone else. Bifurcating a divorce allows both the spouses to move on with their individual lives faster. Having no legal bindings to remarry someone else can be crucial for many reasons.

Firstly, one of the major causes behind divorce is a change of love interest. It is common to find another person more lovable and attracted towards. Therefore, you would definitely want to have the court decision to be allowed to marry again.

After that, your religion may not allow you to marry someone else whilst still being married to your current spouse. As a result, you and your spouse may need to be officially declared single in order to remarry.

Related Article: What is the first thing to do when filing for divorce?

You can move on quickly

Going through the tough decision of separation can be extremely hectic, both physically and mentally. You would wish to get out of the situation as soon as possible. Sometimes, the overall divorce decision may take years before arriving as several factors are associated with a divorce. Bifurcating a divorce allows you to go on with your life without much delay.

Faster property and asset division

The division of pre-marital and post-marital assets is one of the toughest decisions of a divorce. It also takes a lot of time to come to a decision regarding who gets what. However, bifurcation allows you to get the divorce decision first and then take your time to come to a decision regarding property division.

In most times, people find it mentally relaxing to sit together and decide themselves after the actual divorce decision is out of the way.

What are the Cons of a Bifurcated Divorce?

No matter how beneficial it seems, there is always the other side of the coin. Here are 3 disadvantages of bifurcating a divorce that may make you shy away from the decision.

It is much more expensive

Bifurcating your divorce may add up some extra costs to the overall divorce case. Different issues of the separation are solved individually. As a result, the individual costs make the overall case conclusion to be expensive than before.

It gives an incentive to delay the process

If the divorce takes place under huge conflicts, bifurcating it may provide a negative impression and intention to the other spouse. For instance, you would want the divorce decision to be done and dusted as soon as possible. This may give your spouse an opportunity to willfully delay the decision by not agreeing to your terms and making you suffer more.

The judicial process may be inefficient

One of the major cons of bifurcating a divorce is that not all states allow this. The problem with such a process is that it makes the overall judicial process of divorce to be inefficient. Most courts will want to provide their decisions at the time of the final dissolution decision. Individual decisions regarding divorce can be stressful for a court.

How You can Bifurcate a Divorce

The process of bifurcating a divorce varies from state to state. In most states, you will be required to file a motion to the court. After that, you will be asked to go to court for a hearing and pursue the appropriateness of bifurcation.

Some states may want both parties to have consent for bifurcating the divorce. As a result, you and your spouse will have to be on the same page throughout the process.


A bifurcated divorce decision may be just the right thing for you if you are looking to get out of the married life as soon as possible. There are many obvious benefits of bifurcating a divorce.

However, there are a few disadvantages as well. At the end of the day, you and your spouse should be on the same page with this decision and seek professional help for a smoother process.

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