Contested or Uncontested Divorce

People are often confused by  the meaning of a “contested or uncontested divorce.”  The two are not mutually exclusive.

CONTESTED OR UNCONTESTED

“Contested” usually means the parties cannot agree on financial support, how to divide the property or assets and the parenting plan for their children.  Until the issues are decided, the case remains “contested” in the sense that there are still undecided issues.  Most divorces that start out “contested” usually end up becoming uncontested once the disputed issues are resolved.  The filing of a “Complaint for Divorce” does not mean that the parties will never agree on all of the issues between them.  Most divorce cases end with agreement of the contested issues (the Separation Agreement.)

FILING FOR DIVORCE

“Filing” for divorce does not mean the process cannot move forward in a friendly manner and stay out of court.  Filing for divorce may get the process started and begin the efforts to end the marriage.   An individual does not have to “decide” in advance whether they want to opt for a “contested” or an “uncontested” divorce.  These are merely words used to describe what is occurring.  Very few divorce cases end up “contested” at the end of the day.  The few cases that remain “contested” may be forced to have a trial at great financial expense and emotional cost.  Going to trial should be avoided if at all possible.

STRIVE TO RESOLVE

Work hard to settle the disputed issues. Consider compromise to bring financial and emotional savings for the family.  Do your best to put aside some of the accumulated marital knowledge that may be holding you back from resolving  contested issues.  Realize that even a “bad” settlement is better than a “good” trial, because there is predictability, closure and financial and emotional savings for a couple and their children.  Have “uncontested” be the ultimate goal for you and your family.

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