Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC
Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC

Bifurcated divorce: What is it and who can get it?

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2019 | Uncategorized

Celebrity divorces are fascinating. When California residents see celebrities trying different divorce strategies, they wonder if those options are available to them or only to the rich and famous. The Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt marital dissolution case is in the news often and has been for the last few years. The former couple filed for a bifurcated divorce. What is that?

Some couples struggle to reach agreements on property division, support and child custody. This, of course, prolongs the divorce process and keeps them legally married for much longer than they would like. This makes it difficult for all parties to move on in their personal lives. Jolie and Pitt have been trying to reach a divorce agreement since September 2016, and they are to a point where they just want single status. A bifurcated divorce would grant them that.

Bifurcated divorce basics

In the state of California, any divorcing couple who has good reason to believe it will benefit their situation can seek a bifurcated judgment. The following people often seek this type of divorce:

  • Couples taking a long time to resolve divorce disputes
  • One party who wishes to remarry
  • Those who just want closure on their relationship
  • Either party for financial reasons

If you think it will be in the best interests of your family, you can certainly try to get a judge to agree with you. Seeking a bifurcated judgment is as easy as filing a motion in court seeking a separate trial regarding just the marital status. It is possible to receive assistance with this filing from a legal professional, which can ensure everything is in order and the paperwork is submitted free of error. At the end of the day, whether your request will receive approval is up to a judge. 

Only half of a divorce

The most important aspect of a bifurcated judgment to understand is that it only covers half of the divorce process. If the court approves your request, it means you are no longer legally married. You will still have to work through the settlement details, which proceed through negotiation or litigation. However, by no longer being officially married to your ex, you may find it easier to treat the rest of your divorce proceedings as a business transaction, while keeping emotion out of it.

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