Bifurcate Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Bifurcate.

Bifurcate (verb)

Bifurcate refers to the act where a judge splits a case into different parts and makes decisions on certain parts without settling other matters in the same suit. For example, in a divorce case, a judge might grant the divorce (separation) but delay deciding how to split up the couple's property. Bifurcating allows some matters to be resolved earlier without having to wait for more complex issues to be settled. This can make the legal process quicker and less complicated in some instances.