Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce Procedures

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Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce Procedures

There are two different kinds of divorce- those that are contested and uncontested. Contested divorces are ones where the husband and wife don’t agree, whether it be about the divorce itself or its terms- such as asset and debt division, spousal and child support, or child custody. In an uncontested divorce, the couple agrees on everything and don’t need the court to divide assets and determine support. In most cases, uncontested divorces will proceed faster, be less complex, and cost far less.

Many couples will begin the divorce process as “contested", and then before it goes to court, come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce. This is called settlement, and one of its biggest advantages is that there will be no long and drawn-out appeals process. If you and your spouse come to an agreement, make sure it’s in writing so that it’s legally binding. Most judges and attorneys would rather see a case settled out of court, uncontested. If you and your spouse can’t agree, your lawyers will be able to help you come to a solution you can live with.

Do-it-yourself divorces have become more popular, and they eliminate most of the legal costs that would be incurred with the hiring of a lawyer. People that successfully handle their own divorce usually agree on everything, so their divorce can be considered uncontested. If you and your spouse are in agreement with spousal/child support, it’s not necessary to hire a lawyer. However, if aspects of the dissolution of the marriage are contested, it’s advisable to seek counsel. The complex nature of a contested divorce would be almost impossible for an untrained person to deal with.

If you are considering filing for divorce, it’s important that you learn about the process. Far too often, a simple uncontested divorce can turn bitter, and conversely, a protracted divorce can be settled out-of-court. As you continue with proceedings, you will learn that it’s a good idea to come to a mutual agreement with your spouse, because it will save you both money and legal headaches.





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