Divorces are not always adversarial, bitter battles. In some cases, marriages are ended and many of the decisions are mutually agreed upon by both spouses. While a marriage can be ended by one spouse, the decision to have either a contested or an uncontested divorce has to be decided upon by both spouses. In order to have an uncontested divorce, both parties must agree to cooperate together regarding issues of child custody, support payments, and the division of marital assets. Learn more about the differences between a contested and uncontested divorce to determine which one may be right for your circumstance.

Contested Divorces

Most divorces in the United States are contested divorces. A contested divorce is one in which both spouses cannot find agreement on at least one major issue such as child support calculations, child custody and visitation issues, spousal support calculations, or the Equitable division of marital assets and debts. These disagreements ultimately need to be decided in order for the divorce to be finalized. When two spouses cannot come to a mutually agreed-upon decision regarding these major issues, a divorce becomes contested. Contested divorces are typically more time-consuming, as well as more expensive. However, there are some benefits to a contested divorce. Contested divorces will ensure that a process known as “financial discovery” will occur. This process requires both spouses to provide a complete financial accounting of their assets, debts, and financial statements. In certain cases, where one spouse may have hidden assets throughout the marriage, a financial Discovery can ensure that an equitable division of marital property occurs between both spouses. A contested divorce typically one where both parties are represented by an attorney, to ensure that both sides have their legal rights protected regarding child custody, alimony, child support calculations, and the division of assets and debts.

Uncontested Divorces

In some cases, both spouses will agree on every major issue within a divorce. It is important to note that in contested divorces still need to be filed with the court, and a judge will still sign the divorce paperwork making it official. However, the process for an uncontested divorce takes substantially less time, and only one spouse needs to be present before a judge. If all major issues are agreed upon by both spouses, the judge will simply ratify those agreements and finalize the divorce. While an uncontested divorce does take less time and money, one spouse may want to consider whether or not to have legal representation during the process to ensure that their legal rights are protected. Even in an amicable divorce, certain situations can arise that make it a contested divorce quickly. Consider whether or not you want to have legal representation during your divorce to ensure that you understand that your rights regarding child visitation, child custody, child support calculations, and the division of marital property remain protected.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney

Whether you are considering having a contested or an uncontested divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney at The Blacknall Firm to help you understand your legal rights, and ensure they remain protected throughout your entire divorce process