It is not unusual for many parties—those who wish to terminate their marriage—to find themselves in a position where they would like to move forward with the divorce proceedings but need additional time to sort out various unresolved details related to settling financial and family matters.
Since these unresolved issues may take time to work through—some might deal with finances and property, others with custody—one or both of the parties involved may opt to file for what is termed a bifurcation of their marital status. What this means is that the termination of marriage can still proceed through the proper channels of the legal system even though the parties have not completely settled all aspects/details of the dissolution.
The Family Law Court recognizes that certain items at issue can require time and attention in order to have the parties come to resolution. Resolution can be attained through mutual agreement and stipulated to by both parties, or it can be mandated through Court action. Often, when couples cannot come to resolution they file for a bifurcation and later proceed to trial where the Court then rules on matters regarding finances, property, custody and other issues where the couple must divide assets, financial obligations and shared time with children.
A bifurcation is not a casual agreement between the divorcing parties, instead a bifurcation is a legal action that can only be granted by a Court of Family Law. When considering a bifurcation order, the Court is essentially saying that it recognizes that the parties’ financial and custody issues will be decided upon at a later date—whether by stipulation or by a judicial officer at trial. The Court also asserts that it retains jurisdiction over the outstanding unresolved issues. As such, it is always in the best interests of divorcing couples to work toward resolving his/her differences expeditiously rather than proceed to trial unless, of course, Court action is appropriate and deemed by one party or the other as the only solution to resolve pending matters and disputes.
If a party to the dissolution action does not agree to terminate marital status, a legal motion can be filed by the moving party requesting that the Court grant the bifurcation and termination of their marital status. Having met certain conditions and criteria, and once termination is granted, the parties are no longer “husband and wife.” This allows either party to enter into a new marital contract, if they wish.
Because the skilled group of attorneys at Nachshin & Langlois deal with many high-profile and celebrity clients, the need of and request for bifurcation orders are quite common among the firm’s clientele. The Nachshin & Langlois team methodically works through settling disputes inherent in complex, high-stakes settlements and division of assets and property, as well as complicated custody matters where often one party may live in not only one but several states. The end result: the firm’s goal is to help its clients reach satisfactory results and closure. When finding it necessary to file for a bifurcation order, the team at Nachshin & Langlois takes great care in guiding its clients through each important step.