The Differences Between Contested & Uncontested Divorces

The ultimate difference between an uncontested and a contested divorce is who will make the final decisions regarding the details of your divorce. Can you, your spouse, and your attorneys reach mutually agreed-upon terms through deliberate negotiations, or will you need a judge to make a ruling for you? When you call a family law attorney for your initial consultation, one of the first things they will ask about is whether the divorce is contested. Their reasoning behind this question is that it gives them a slightly better picture of the road ahead. 

In an uncontested divorce, you may spend little to no time in an actual courtroom. Another overlooked component of them is that there will be nothing to appeal after it is over because you and your spouse were the ones who shaped your divorce agreement and committed your signatures to it in approval. Contested divorces, however, may require multiple visits to a court to work out the various issues that you and your spouse cannot agree on. And by working it out, we mean that a judge will be the neutral third party who decides the outcome you will be legally bound to follow. 

Why Contested Divorces Exist

After you and your spouse married, you deliberately merged your lives. You bought property, made investments, created estate plans, and shared bank accounts. One person could have made financial and personal sacrifices so the other could obtain a degree. The person who did so likely viewed it as an investment in their future. That arrangement looks completely different when the issue of divorce surfaces because one person may walk away with the benefits of the other person’s investment. 

These are just examples of issues that form during a divorce. Regardless of your unique circumstances, you must dissolve and divide your marriage and assets (and debts). During this process, there could be disputes about how certain things occurred, attorneys could have different legal interpretations, or the two people cannot come to mutually acceptable ways to divide their assets. 

In addition to physical property, spouses have to work through child support (which can be relatively straightforward and objective), alimony, and child custody. Regarding factual disagreements, one spouse may view the other as an unfit parent, which may lead to them fighting for legal and physical custody of the child. 

Finding Solutions Despite the Challenges

Highlighting problems without solutions can be frustrating, and our goal is to provide the latter. Take comfort in knowing that we have handled these issues and have helped our clients navigate them. In addition to guiding people through reorganizing their families, we offer mediation services for those having trouble with custody, visitation schedules, and child (and spousal) support. Our role is to empower you by finding practical solutions that fit you and your family. Contact us today to schedule a consultation

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Empower Law Group

My practice is entirely focused on helping families and children navigate the sometimes complex and often confusing world of family law, guardianships, domestic violence, reunification, and litigation. I bring compassion to my work and am dedicated to finding the proper resolution for you and your particular family law dilemma. I am accessible and meticulous about ensuring you receive the attention you deserve. We aim to empower you to create the next great chapter of your life.

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