Difference Between Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce Cases

For married couples who are seeking a divorce, there are a variety of legal terms and proceedings that both partners must familiarize themselves with, and you may be wondering whether or not you need to hire a divorce attorney.

One important aspect of divorces cases is whether or not the divorce is contested. In a contested divorce, a couple must go to trial. For all you need to know about the differences between contested and uncontested divorce cases, and the benefits of each, refer to the following:

What is a contested divorce?

In a contested divorce case, couples cannot agree on at least one of four major issues. These issues include:

For those who are seeking a divorce, it's unlikely that there won't be any disagreements. When a couple disagrees to the point where settling out of court isn't possible, though, the divorce is considered to be "contested." In order to resolve any contested issues, the couple will usually have to go to trial, where a divorce judge will make decisions about any issues. A contested divorce can be beneficial for couples who are unable to work together to make a decision about important issues, or when the custody of a child is involved.

It's also important to note that whether or not a divorce is contested may be dependent upon a state's marriage dissolution laws.

Understanding an Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is exactly the opposite of a contested divorce. While a divorcing couple will still have to face the same issues mentioned above (division of property, division of debt, custody of children involved, and child/spousal support payments), the couple comes to an agreement on the issues outside of court.

One of the biggest benefits of working out divorce issues on a couple's mutual terms (outside of a courtroom) is that it can save money. Additionally, agreeing to divorce terms is often much more beneficial for fostering a positive emotional relationship between divorcing husband and wife; court battles can get ugly, and it's not uncommon for one (or both) spouse to leave the courtroom feeling as though they were "cheated." Uncontested divorce cases are often much speedier as well, and an attorney is not required.

When a Divorce Attorney is Necessary

If you and your current spouse are pursuing a divorce and cannot agree about how property should be divided, who should get custody of your child(ren), or what child support or spousal support payments should be, you need the help of a divorce attorney in your state. Even if you think that your divorce will be uncontested, but there are high financial stakes involved, you should seek legal advice to ensure that you get the fairest agreement possible.

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