What is the Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

Generally, there are two types of divorce – contested and uncontested. In cases where spouses are on the same page in terms of their divorce settlement, this divorce would be referred to as uncontested. On the other hand, if spouses disagree on one or more key issues, such as child custody, spousal support, or property division, it would be considered a contested divorce.

Continue reading below to learn more about the differences between a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce:

  • Uncontested divorce: Also known as a simple divorce, this type of divorce occurs when both parties agree on all key issues. This does not necessarily mean you and your spouse agreed on everything on the onset of your divorce. If you were able to hash out an agreement through another approach, such as mediation or collaborative divorce, these methods would keep you out of court. Many couples opt for these approaches since it they maintain a couple’s privacy, cost less, and typically require less time than one would spend if they were to go through litigation. Additionally, the results are often better for both parties. That said, in some cases, disputes that involve child custody and child support might warrant court intervention to ensure the best interests of the children are protected.
  • Contested divorce: Unlike an uncontested divorce, a contested divorce essentially means that both parties are unable to agree on a divorce settlement. Moreover, a contested divorce tacks on several additional steps,  which is why the process often takes substantially more time than an uncontested divorce. One of the steps in a contested divorce that can require a considerable amount of time is the discovery process, which involves extensive information-gathering, including depositions, written questions, and subpoenas. In a contested divorce, you could also expect to go through pre-trial hearings and motions, negotiations with your respective attorneys, and a court trial. If either spouse is unhappy with the results, the judge’s decision could also be appealed, which would require even more time and money.

Regardless if your divorce is contested or uncontested, hiring an experienced attorney is crucial for obtaining results that are in your best interests. No matter how amicable the situation between you and your spouse is, divorce is a complex process, so you should avoid agreeing to anything without the advice of a knowledgeable attorney. It is far easier to get it right the first time than it is to try to modify the divorce settlement later on.

Speak to an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today!

If you are getting divorced, do not go through this process on your own without skilled legal assistance. At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff, our legal team will provide the exceptional advice and representation you need during this difficult time. Whether your divorce is uncontested or contested, you can rely on us to help you achieve the results you need to embark on a better, brighter future. With over three decades of legal experience on his side, our divorce attorney has what it takes to address your concerns, answer your questions, and ensure your interests are protected.

Contact our office today at (805) 633-4999 to schedule a confidential case review with our divorce attorney.

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