Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What Is the Difference Between a Contested Divorce and an Uncontested Divorce?

When you and your spouse are seriously considering divorce, you'll find that there are several options for dissolution of marriage for you to consider, depending on your situation. In many states the two most common types of divorce are contested and uncontested.


In an uncontested divorce, both parties are able to work out the divorce terms without any input from the court. More divorcing couples prefer an uncontested divorce simply because it is generally less stressful and is less complicated compared to getting a contested divorce.

Of course, not all couples may benefit from an uncontested divorce. Couples who are in conflict with one another may have difficulty agreeing to common decisions brought about by a divorce, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, visitation, and division of assets.

An uncontested divorce usually involved drawing up a separation agreement mutually agreed upon by the divorcing parties, filing for dissolution of marriage, and attending a hearing. This entire legal process can take less than two months.

In some situations, however, an uncontested divorce does not go as planned and thus transitions to a contested divorce. Should this occur, then the services of a capable and experienced divorce attorney may be needed to ensure that your rights are protected at all times.


A contested divorce, on the other hand, is a type of divorce where both parties are unable to reach an agreement when it comes to all essential divorce terms. Contested is significantly more stressful and complicated compared to uncontested or mediated divorces, and could take several months or even years to resolve.

In a contested divorce, a court judge resolves the case if both parties are unable to resolve all contested points before the scheduled trial date. The judge bases the decision on the facts of the divorce case, including marital documents, records, and testimonies. Common parties who testify at the trial include you and your spouse, as well as witnesses who are testifying on your and your spouse's behalf.

Contested divorces usually always require the hiring of a family lawyer. It is always advisable to seek the counsel of an experienced lawyer in your area if you think your divorce will require going to trial. It's actually advisable to at the very least have a consultation with a family law attorney whether your divorce is contested or uncontested just to make sure your rights are protected.

If you have questions regarding Florida divorce laws or other Florida family law matters and you live in (or the jurisdiction of your divorce) is in the Tampa Bay Area, contact Denmon & Denmon Law at (813) 554-3232 to schedule a consultation or visit our website.
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