• Autumn Gillette

Difference between Contested and Uncontested Divorce

Divorce is a topic that most people do not enjoy discussing, but should you find yourself in a marriage that appears broken, there are some important things you must understand to make it through the process. One of the most common questions asked is, what exactly is the difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce?


Couples can choose two routes when the decision has been made to get a divorce:

  • Contested Divorce


  • Uncontested Divorce




Many people mistakenly think that an uncontested divorce is a divorce that is unchallenged throughout, but that is far from the truth. Even the most amicable divorces will have a few points debated and negotiated at some point. It is the process by which the differences are worked out that truly makes a divorce contested or uncontested.


Here is a brief overview of both types of divorce so you can better understand them and also gain an understanding what you may be facing in the near future.


Contested Divorce

Couples that cannot agree on various points during the divorce process may have no choice but to take the divorce to court and allow the judge to make the final decision on issues such as child custody, debt allocation, alimony, spousal support, asset distribution, and child support. Cases such as this are rarely settled quickly and can result in massive legal bills for each party. In addition, in some cases, at least one party is upset with the final verdict handed down by the judge. The judge will decide every contested issue after either a hearing, or in the end, a trial. A divorce that ends in trial is typically one that is drawn out over a year or two at least.


The alternative…


Uncontested Divorce

This divorce is much simpler and significantly less costly than a contested divorce. For the most part, both parties will agree on the main decision that must be made regarding asset allocation, child custody, child support, etc. For the points they do not agree on, they can seek the help of a mediator to settle, or even having their own attorneys negotiate outside of court in a more amicable and friendly manner. Even couples that are parting on bad terms can use this method to keep their legal costs down.


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DISCLAIMER

​We are not attorneys and cannot give you legal advice or select legal forms for you.

The information presented on our website is general, factual, published information obtained from court provided self-help legal publications, legal statutes, or other sources believed to be accurate and reliable. This information should not be considered legal advice as it is general in nature.

​It is always recommended to seek legal advice from an attorney before filing legal proceeding. Many attorneys offer free consultations.

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