Understanding the Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce

You may have heard that all divorces are ugly and high conflict or that they take a very long time and are extremely expensive. However, many divorces actually occur because both members of the couple decide that it is time to separate for a variety of reasons. Even when the couple agrees to separate, they also have to work through all of the decisions that come along with a divorce, including property division, child custody and support issues, and alimony.

In some cases, the couple can agree to all of these things, which makes the entire process run much more smoothly. Your divorce can be much faster as well because you can use an uncontested divorce process instead of having to go through a contested divorce.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

In an uncontested divorce, the couple has already worked out all of the details of the divorce. It’s not enough that you have worked out some issues, but everything must be agreed upon before you file for divorce. You don’t have to make these agreements alone, however. You can use the services of a third party or mediator, or you can work things out by using your attorney to negotiate with your spouse.

In many situations, an attorney can be very helpful to work out the few details that you cannot seem to agree upon with your spouse. That way, you can file an uncontested divorce even if you cannot hammer out specifics yourself.

When you file your uncontested divorce, a judge will simply review the documents that your attorney has prepared and approve them. Uncontested divorces can be completed in just a few weeks once they are filed. They can cost thousands of dollars less than having to go through a contested divorce.

What is a Contested Divorce?

If you have even one detail about the divorce that you cannot agree upon, then your divorce is considered contested. You can still go through mediation or have an agreement on your own after you file, but a contested divorce may ultimately need to go to trial before a judge. The judge will then resolve your dispute in a way that he or she thinks is fair. You have far less control over the ultimate result of divorce when you put the issues in a judge’s hands.

There are situations where you can tell the judge that you agree on some things and not others so that any hearing or trial will focus on just a few issues. Narrowing the issues at trial can save you time and money overall.

Contested divorces can take a very long time. They can take months or even years in high-conflict divorces. They are also often very expensive as well.

Getting Help with Your Divorce

Whether you think you can work out the details or you know everything will be a challenge, an experienced Florida divorce attorney can be a great resource. Call Rodriguez Law, P.L. to discuss your options if you are considering divorce. Schedule your free consultation by calling (305) 262-8226.

About Rodriguez Law, P.L.

Rodriguez Law, P.L. is dedicated to providing quality personal legal services to our clients. Our reputation for combining quality, knowledge, and technology to deliver efficiency and value makes us one of the most trusted law offices in Miami-Dade and Broward.