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The Different Types of Divorce

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Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. Depending on the situation, different types of divorces may be issued. While there are many other different categories of divorces, including those involving same-gender marriages and uncontested divorces, here are a few of the most common.

Summary Divorces

This type of divorce is normally granted for couples who haven’t been married for longer than 5 years. If they don’t have children, own property, or have significant debt, this type of divorce can be much simpler than other types of divorce. It involves less paperwork and can sometimes be done without hiring an attorney.

Fault or No-Fault Divorces

While not necessary, parties that are divorcing can still prove faults or the reasons for the divorce. These are known as Fault Divorces. If infidelity or abuse is the reason for the separation, they may be noted in this type of proceeding. However, if neither party feels that there is substantial blame to be placed on one party, a No-Fault Divorce may be the best option.

Mediated Divorces

These types of divorces involve both parties working with a mediator. This neutral third party will help both spouses to reach an agreement upon the terms of the divorce. The mediator doesn't act as a judge, but instead encourages communication between the 2 parties so that an agreement can be made.

Contested Divorces

This type of divorce is one of the most difficult and painful to experience. If either spouse struggles to agree upon the terms, whether it’s the division of assets or custodial rights, it will go through the process of this divorce. The case will be taken before a judge and then will most likely experience several settlement hearings before reaching a judgment.

If you are contemplating divorce and are unsure about how to proceed, speak to a professional. Call Carol N. Shapiro, Attorney at Law with any of your divorce questions.

Understanding Your Divorce Options

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If you are facing a divorce, we understand that you are probably confused and hearing many opinions about what others would do if they were you. Sometimes, you just need clarification on what your options are from an outside source. Hopefully, the following information we have for you will do just that.


In an ideal divorce setting, it would be great if you and your spouse could peacefully join sides to work out the terms of the divorce with a mediator. This does not mean that the mediator will make the decisions for you. Rather, he or she will act as a facilitator for both sides and can be a neutral third party. This option has many benefits, including being less expensive than going to a court. Also, in most mediation cases, all the issues over the settlement get worked out.

Hire an Attorney

In situations where spouses do not agree on the settlement terms, it can be helpful to get an attorney. An attorney can walk you through your options, especially where children are concerned. You can rest assured knowing that the attorney has your best interest in mind. He or she will also know the ins and outs of the laws and know how to protect your well-being. The benefit of this option is that you have full representation.

The Top 3 Reasons People Cheat on Their Spouses

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Unfortunately, cheating is a common problem in many marriages. There are many emotional and physical reasons a man or a woman may decide to cheat on their spouse. Here are the 3 most common reasons that we hear from our clients.


The most common reason for cheating on a spouse is boredom. Men and women alike can feel bored in a relationship because they feel like they've gotten “stuck in a rut” and want to experience something different. It's also common for one spouse to feel lonely or disconnected from their relationship, particularly if their spouse is frequently away from home.

Physical Reasons

Many people who cheat on their spouses are happy with their overall relationship, but they want the adventure of trying something new in the bedroom. Having an affair can make them feel more confident in themselves and their masculinity or femininity, or they may enjoy experimenting with different partners. In general, men are more likely to cheat for physical reasons than women.

Marital Troubles

Cheating often comes as a result of other marital difficulties. If you and your spouse are constantly arguing, one (or both) of you may look for someone else to support you and make you feel wanted. This often starts innocuously as friendship, but may turn into something more if you feel like someone else appreciates and loves you more than your spouse does.

How to Explain Divorce to Young Children

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Divorce is often hardest on children, particularly if they are too young to fully understand what is going on. Plan on having several short talks with your children over the course of 1 or 2 weeks--it usually takes time to process everything that's happening. Here are some tips for helping them understand what your divorce means and how it will affect them.

Stick to the Basics

Young children don't need to know every detail of why you and your ex are splitting up. Focus on the facts that directly concern them, like where Mom and Dad will be living and how often they’ll be able to see each parent. It's usually enough to explain the changes that will happen without going into detail about the reasons behind those changes.

Don't Assign Blame

It's important to remember that in most cases, your children will continue to see both you and your ex on a regular basis after your divorce. Don't blame them for continuing to love your ex, and avoid saying negative things about him or her when you're explaining your divorce. It's extremely important that your children understand that both parents still love them and will continue to care for them.

Encourage Communication

When you explain divorce to young children, encourage them to be open about their emotions. Tell them that it's all right to be sad, confused, or even angry. If they are able to communicate their emotions, they'll be reassured that you still love them no matter what. You may even be able to work together to come up with ways to make the transition easier on them.

3 Healthy Ways to Deal with the Stress of Divorce

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Divorce is not an easy thing to go through. It can take a toll on not only your family and your finances, but on your mind and body as well. Many people experience depression and anxiety during this time in their lives, and a lot of those people don't know how to deal with the stress of the divorce. If you're going through a divorce yourself, we would like to offer you 3 suggestions for how to deal with the stress in a healthy way.


Exercise has been proven to improve attitudes. It increases the production of "feel-good" hormones in our bodies like serotonin. If you find yourself feeling stressed or depressed, try going for a jog or attending an aerobics class. You'll most likely feel a lot better by the end of your workout.


Many people use meditation as a means of relaxation and self-examination. Sometimes in a divorce, self-examination is exactly what you need. You can either take a serious meditation course, or just set aside time to relax and reflect on your feelings.


At times, all you really need is an objective third party to listen to your problems and offer unbiased advice. Therapy can be a great way to get things off your chest, and could even be described as cathartic. If you have a lot you need to work through, consider working with a professional therapist to help you get through it all.


The Best Advice from a Divorce Attorney

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As the legal team at Carol N. Shapiro, Attorney at Law, we help people going through a divorce get through the transition from married to single again as smoothly as possible. Here are 3 of our best tips for getting through the divorce unscathed.

Give Yourself Some Space

A lot of divorcing couples want to play nice with their former spouse for the kids or to make sure that they are able to still be friends. While these intentions are noble, they might not be for the best. If one or both of you are emotionally injured or having difficulty processing it, it will become extra important that you give each other some space to process what is happening.

Do Not Start a War

In other words, do not go out and immediately hire the toughest lawyer you can just to go after your soon-to-be ex. Try to navigate the divorce as amicably as possible at first, possibly through mediation, to find out what you and your ex’s “divorce personality” is going to be.

Focus On Your Family

Do not bring any extraneous relationships such as girlfriends or boyfriends into the mix if there are any. In fact, for the emotional benefit of the kids, if you are able to get along and go out to dinner as a family, your kids will need some family time to know that they still have two parents who care about each other and love them.


A Brief History of Legal Divorce

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While divorce may seem a legal matter that has come about within the last century, it has a history dating back to the 1500s. Henry VIII was the first to bring about a highly publicized divorce. His wife Catherine failed to produce a male heir to inherit the throne. He had also fallen in love with Anne Boleyn. As such, he tried to force the pope to annul his marriage. When the pope declined, Henry declared himself the head of a new church called the Church of England. With it, he began approving annulments and divorces, the first being his own.

Afterwards, however, divorce was not a term heard very often. Most churches eventually went back to detesting divorce and renouncing it completely. It wasn't until the mid-1800s that divorce would become more prominent and acceptable among society.

In 1857, the Matrimonial Causes Act was passed, allowing citizens to divorce. Before then, it was expensive and only men could file. This new law allowed women to file for divorce, but only if their husbands had been unfaithful. They had to prove infidelity, along with any other faults, before a divorce would be granted.

1937 came with a law change. It increased the allowed reasons for divorce. Abuse, cruelty, drunkenness, and desertion were all added to the list. Women, however, still needed to prove each and every accusation before a divorce would be given.

Finally, in 1969, the Divorce Reform Act took place. This stated that couples who had been separated for 2 years could file for a divorce. Also, it was no longer necessary to prove the faults of one another. From this moment, the precedent was set and divorce rates rose. Whether because of abuse or simply because of irreconcilable differences, divorce is much easier and socially acceptable than in centuries past.

Does Your Religion Make You Less Likely to Divorce?

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Regardless of your religion, you are not immune to divorce or the causes of divorce. Unfortunately, some people still have irrational prejudices of divorce happening to only those people who lack a strong religious foundation. Most couples who turn to divorce do not do so because they are not strong in their faith or are not religious or did not try hard enough to make their marriage work. However, religion can play a part.


Some studies have been conducted that show that people of certain religions may be less likely to divorce than other religious or non-religious individuals. However, the divorce rate can be as small as just 5% less likely than other religions. Obviously, this is no guarantee. If you are Christian, Catholic, or affiliated with other religions, you can still find yourself in an unhappy marriage that necessitates separation or divorce. This is because the decision to divorce depends on multifarious factors in addition to just religion.


A personal dedication to religious beliefs is just one of many major factors that play a part in a couple’s marriage, family life, and eventual decision to divorce. A few others include these:

  • Financial circumstances
  • Mutual companionship
  • Physical, emotional, and spiritual compatibility
  • The presence of children
  • Major life events, such as job loss, a death in the family, and others
  • Support of family and friends

Of course, there may be many more factors than these, but these are a few that go hand in hand with religious beliefs and practices.


There are several ways to overcome these factors if you and your partner are unwilling to turn to divorce. You can seek help through religious leaders, receive marriage and family counseling, ask for the support of your friends and family, and finally consult a lawyer for separation strategies that are minimally traumatizing.


How Long Does a Divorce Take?

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If you are considering a divorce, you are probably wondering how long the process is going to take. Most people want to get a divorce over and done with as soon as they can. Different aspects of your divorce will affect how long it will take. Here are some general guidelines for how long your divorce will take and what will affect the time line.

Average Time

The average length of time that most people report from the day the divorce petition is filed to the day the court finalizes the divorce is around 10 months. A typical range is usually between 6 and 12 months. It could be much quicker than this, and it may even drag out longer. It will all depend on your particular situation.

Resolving Issues out of Court

Resolving issues like custody, child support, division of assets, alimony, and other common legal divorce issues outside of the courtroom generally results in a quicker overall divorce. If you are able to go through an amicable divorce and come to an agreement on these issues through mediation, you are much more likely to have a fast divorce.

Taking Your Divorce to Court

If you end up having the court deliberate and decide on the issues discussed above, you are likely to have a longer divorce. Surveys also show that people who have the court decide divorce issues are generally more unhappy with the results than those who are able to settle those decisions through mediation.

While most people are able to finalize a divorce within a year, be aware that many different factors can play a role in how long it will take.

3 Reasons You Can Be Denied Visitation Rights

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Here at Divorce Attorneys San Jose CA, we want to make sure that our clients are able to maintain the best possible relationships with their kids. In some cases, this involves letting the child see the noncustodial parent as much as possible while other times it may mean denying visitation to the noncustodial parent entirely. Here are 3 reasons you might be denied visitation.

Domestic Violence

If you have been accused of or charged with domestic violence in the past, you may be denied visitation unless you can prove that you have received treatment for domestic violence and are not at risk. The court will also consider whether the child was the victim of the domestic violence or witness to it.


In the case where one parent is incarcerated, visitation can be tricky. Although the custodial parent may not have a problem with the noncustodial parent having visitation, they might have a problem with the child visiting a prison and visitation is sometimes denied on these grounds.

Child Is in Danger

When a custodial parent feels that the child is in danger during visitation hours, they may be able to deny the other parent visitation rights. If this is the case for you, ask your lawyer what information you will need to provide to prove that the child is in danger and should be denied visitation.