What Is the Difference between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?
When a couple decides that their marriage is no longer viable, they have the option of either an uncontested or contested divorce. Because a divorce can be very costly and complicated, it is a good idea to work with a College Station family law attorney.
Divorce is generally very difficult for all parties involved. Families are torn apart, allegiances among friends can be strained, and children are often traumatized. Just in terms of the emotional challenges that a divorce brings, then, it is common for both parties to disagree on many issues. Married couples over time bring so many aspects of their lives together to share with each other that separating is often very difficult.
A contested divorce is by far more common than an uncontested one. By “contested” it is simply meant that the parties to the divorce are unable to reach an agreement on one or more pertinent issues, such as whom the children will live with, how the marital estate is to be separated, or whether temporary spousal support should be awarded. Since the parties cannot agree, the court must intervene and adjudicate the matter. An advantage of seeking a contested divorce is that the judge will render a decision on issues the couple cannot agree upon. This also can be seen as a disadvantage in the fact that the couple hands over a fair degree of power to decide important matters that will affect them for years to come.
An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree on all significant issues and are able to terminate the marriage without a lengthy court battle. It is important to understand, however, that an uncontested divorce is not necessarily amicable. Rather, the parties decide without court order such matters as the following, and submit the agreement in writing to the court:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Temporary spousal support
- Division of marital estate
- Division of debts
As you would expect, an uncontested divorce is nearly always much less expensive and takes less time.
Should I Pursue a Contested or Uncontested Divorce?
Whether you and your divorcing spouse should seek a contested or uncontested divorce depends on your ability to set aside differences. Given the fact that divorce is so emotionally charged, you should not feel bad if you find that you cannot settle the many complex matters in a divorce without assistance. If you are divorcing, it is important that you work with a knowledgeable College Station family law attorney. Call Peterson Law Group today to arrange a consultation at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.