Contact a lawyer now

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. Several things are involved with a divorce. For instance, a divorce may not be finalized unless property separation, child custody, alimony, and many other aspects are decided.

The best thing you can do in such a situation is to opt for a bifurcated divorce. This will allow you to remarry after the conclusion of your 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 a lot of trouble in case such a situation arises in your life.

What Is Bifurcation in Divorce?

Bifurcation in divorce refers to the legal process of dividing a divorce case into two or three separate issues or stages. Typically, a divorce involves various aspects, such as the dissolution of the marriage itself and the settlement of related issues like property division, child custody, spousal support, and so on.

With bifurcation, the divorce can be split into two or three parts, allowing the court to address the termination of the marriage separately from the resolution of other contested issues. This means that the marriage can be legally ended, making both parties single again, while other matters like asset division, spousal support, or child custody are still being negotiated or litigated. 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 a bifurcated divorce from the court before other marital issues are resolved. The court will consider your request. Therefore, you may get a divorce decision sooner 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.

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 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 be completed faster. Smooth completion of the most complicated area can quicken other simpler aspects of 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 spouses to move on with their individual lives faster. Having no legal obligation 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 attractive. Therefore, you would want a court decision to allow you to marry again.

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

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 to arrive, 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 premarital and postmarital assets is one of the toughest decisions in a divorce. It also takes a lot of time to decide who gets what. However, bifurcation allows you to get the divorce decision first and then take your time to decide on property division.

Most times, people find it mentally relaxing to sit together and decide for 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 three disadvantages of bifurcating a divorce that may make you shy away from the decision.

It is much more expensive

Bifurcating your divorce may add 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 more 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 allow your spouse 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 for divorce 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

Before diving into a bifurcated divorce, talk to a divorce lawyer first. The process of bifurcating a divorce varies from state to state. So, it’s crucial to know if it’s even an option where you live. Your lawyer can guide you through your state’s specific laws on this. In most states, you will be required to file a motion with the court. After that, you will be asked to go to court for a hearing and pursue the appropriateness of bifurcation. If it’s doable and not too complex, getting a bifurcated divorce often involves both spouses agreeing and filing the needed legal papers.

Some states may want both parties to have consent before bifurcating the divorce. As a result, you and your spouse will have to be on the same page throughout the process. You might get an exception if you can prove a strong legal reason without harming their interests. But if your spouse strongly opposes it and makes a good case, the court might say no to your request for bifurcation.


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

Recent Posts