What is the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?
- Definition: A contested divorce is one in which the spouses cannot reach an agreement on one or more key issues related to the divorce. These issues may include division of assets and debts, alimony, child custody, child support, and other matters.
- Process: In a contested divorce, the spouses may have significant disagreements and conflicting interests. As a result, they often rely on their respective divorce attorneys to represent their positions and advocate for their best interests during the legal proceedings.
- Court Involvement: Contested divorces usually require extensive court involvement, as the court may need to resolve disputes and make decisions on contested issues when the spouses cannot reach an agreement through negotiation or mediation.
- Duration: Contested divorces can be time-consuming and may take several months or even years to be finalized, depending on the complexity of the issues and the backlog of the court.
- Definition: An uncontested divorce (can also be known as a collaborative divorce) is one in which both spouses are in agreement on all relevant issues related to the divorce. They have reached a settlement on matters such as asset division, alimony, child custody, child support, and any other issues relevant to their specific situation.
- Process: In an uncontested divorce, the spouses work together to create a mutually acceptable divorce agreement. They may consult with divorce attorneys to ensure the agreement aligns with their legal rights and responsibilities, but the overall process is generally less adversarial.
- Court Involvement: Uncontested divorces typically involve minimal court involvement. Once the spouses have reached a settlement privately or in mediation and documented it in a legally binding agreement, they submit the agreement to the court for approval.
- Duration: Uncontested divorces are generally quicker and more straightforward than contested divorces. Depending on the jurisdiction’s laws and court processing times, an uncontested divorce can be finalized relatively quickly.