Uncontested Vs Contested Divorce – Understanding the Differences

Contested Divorce

Contested divorces happen when there are points of contention in the terms of a divorce, such as the division of assets, debts, custody, and support. These issues need to be resolved in court.

The process starts with working out an agreement outside of court on these issues (also known as a settlement or stipulation). This then gets submitted to the judge.

The Costs

The cost of divorce is a top concern for most couples. A contested divorce can cost more than double the amount of an uncontested divorce. Adding to this, it can take much longer for a contested divorce to become finalized.

Contested divorce Tampa requires considerable legal intervention and court appearances to resolve disputes and decide on divorce conditions like property division and child custody arrangements. This can cost up to $50,000 or more, depending on the case.

Fortunately, cost-effective solutions can make a contested divorce more manageable for couples. For example, many contested divorces can be resolved through mediation and arbitration. These techniques are designed to help spouses reach agreements outside of court and avoid lengthy and contentious proceedings.

The Time It Takes

Completing an uncontested divorce can take less time than a contested divorce, depending on the complexity of your case. For example, cases involving child custody or complicated property division can take longer. A judge must decide these issues rather than the spouses themselves.

After you and your spouse have discussed the terms of your divorce, put them in writing, and signed them, you will need to file them with the court and any other required documents. This can involve buying an index number, filing a Summons with Notice or Summons a Verified Complaint (which has the reasons for the divorce), paying any necessary fees, serving your spouse, and attending a hearing if one is required.

If either spouse disagrees with the court’s decision, they can appeal it. This can prolong the legal proceedings and cost more money. However, if both parties agree to the court’s decision, it will likely be final.

Contested Divorce

The Emotions Contested divorces

Divorce is a very emotionally challenging experience. Whether the marriage ended due to infidelity or because the relationship did not work out, it is an emotional event that can take a significant toll on both spouses and their children.

A contested divorce can become especially emotionally draining because couples involved in this type of divorce often end up fighting over very personal issues. For example, a judge may prioritize one spouse’s concerns over another regarding property division and child custody arrangements.

This only sometimes happens in an uncontested divorce because the couple works out their agreements through informal or formal negotiations. However, all arrangements must be formally documented to avoid future misunderstandings that could escalate into disputes. Additionally, formalizing deals within legal documents can help expedite the divorce proceedings by ensuring that all issues are resolved. This can also prevent costly mistakes like signing financial documents with incorrect information.

The Final Decision

The judge will decide issues associated with the case, such as asset and debt division, alimony, child custody and visitation, and support. It will become a contested divorce if significant issues between spouses cannot be resolved. You’ll have to work through discovery, trial, and various other matters in court before receiving a final decision from the judge.

It’s essential for couples to carefully consider the complexity of their cases before choosing whether an uncontested or contested divorce is right for them. Working with an experienced Long Island divorce attorney who can help you reach a fair settlement should always be your priority. This way, you can avoid lengthy and expensive proceedings that may not result in favorable outcomes for your situation. Having a solid legal team to fight for your rights and interests is crucial during this stress and emotional turmoil. This will make it possible to obtain a fair outcome that will benefit both parties.