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Differences between contested and uncontested divorce

When it comes to divorce, one of the first things you need to understand is whether your divorce is going to be contested or uncontested. The differences between these two types of divorce will make a big impact on how your divorce moves forward and how you eventually arrive at a settlement or judgement.

In its simplest definition, the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce is that an uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce. However, there are other, subtler differences that will help you understand these two options.

Benefits of uncontested divorces

There can be several benefits to an uncontested divorce. One is that uncontested divorces avoid long, drawn-out court battles. They are, generally speaking, much less costly and more efficient in terms of time than a contested divorce, which can drag on through the courts and bring hefty legal fees. Uncontested divorces can also be easier on the children, because you and your spouse agree on all the terms of your divorce, including child custody, so the children do not experience a prolonged traumatic situation.

When you cannot avoid a contested divorce

In terms of your best interests in your divorce, your family law attorney will seek to satisfy your objectives as much as possible within the confines of the court system. Not all couples can come to an agreement on all the terms of their divorce. In these cases, contested divorces move through the court system, and a family law judge makes the final determinations on the terms of the divorce. While this takes control out of the spouses' hands, it also aims at ensuring that the divorce agreement and subsequent court order adheres to legal requirements and is equitable.

Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested depends mainly on the situation between you and your spouse and how amenable the both of you are to finding a shared agreement. Although uncontested divorces do have certain benefits, the requirements are strict and can be difficult for couples to meet.

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