Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
- July 11, 2015
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No divorce is truly “uncontested” but in an uncontested divorce the two parties are able to resolve disputes outside of court. In a contested divorce, the two parties are unable to agree on the terms of the divorce such as child support, alimony, division of assets, or division of debt. These four terms are the issues at the heart of every divorce.
Every couple wishing to have a divorce should attempt to develop shared terms for the severance prior to going to court. An uncontested divorce is easy and far less costly and it allows both the parties involved to end the marriage quickly and quietly. The less money spent on hiring a lawyer and going through the difficult divorce process, the more money left for yourself and your children after the separation. Any of these options save time and money by avoiding the extensive litigation and trial process.
Not every uncontested divorce goes smoothly, but low amounts of assets and a mutual capability of self-support definitely alleviates the process. Couples with complicated circumstances or major differences of monetary or emotional power may find that contested divorce is their only option.
High financial stakes and legal technicalities are the basis of contested divorces. The spouses’ inability to agree on terms to their divorce leads to a more convoluted process of separation through a contested divorce. With a contested divorce, counsel is necessary. Involving lawyers and court appearances causes a serious spike in price and time, only breeding more grievances that could be avoided. It is not uncommon for spouses to begin the litigation process but before reaching court come to an agreement of terms; this development is referred to as a settlement. Through settling, a couple can reduce resentment, allowing both parties to resume their normal lives quickly. Most judges and lawyers prefer to settle out of court so if the spouses are unable to reach an arrangement on their own, their lawyers will try to help them reach one eventually.