Difference Between Contested & Uncontested Divorce

Divorce questions answered by St Cloud Divorce Attorney David Buchin

Major differences between contested divorce and uncontested divorce.

There are four issues that are the most common negotiations throughout many divorces: division of marital assets, division of debt, custody of children, payment of child support and spousal support. Each divorce is different and each couple negotiates through these four issues differently from the next. The negotiation process can divide divorces into two different groups: uncontested divorces vs contested divorces. The difference between the two types of divorce is how much the four main issues need to be negotiated and how many disagreements there are.  

What is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce is when one of the spouses disagrees to the divorce. This can be a disagreement on the divorce itself or on some of the big negotiating terms of the divorce. A contested divorce often means more time spent in mediation and could lead to a court hearing if agreements can not be made. Having a divorce attorney during a contested divorce can be very helpful during negotiations. A divorce attorney is someone with experience during this process who can help guide you through finding an agreement with you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse.  

What makes an uncontested divorce different than a contested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is when both spouses agree to the divorce. These uncontested divorce cases often are able to be solved outside of court and with a quicker settlement for both parties. This does not mean there are no disagreements throughout the uncontested divorce process, just that the disagreements are quickly negotiated.  

Do I even need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce does not mean there are no disagreements. Having a divorce attorney ready to help you will only make the divorce experience smoother and take up less time. Even if there are no big disagreements, having a divorce attorney can help make sure all paperwork is filed correctly and on time. Even during an uncontested divorce, there is a lot of paperwork to file and make sure all assets are split correctly and agreed upon. Having a divorce attorney to handle the small details is an easy way to make sure you do not have problems in the future because something was missing or not filed correctly throughout the process.  
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Regardless of the personal circumstances, divorce is stressful. Having someone there to help guide you through the process and making sure all boxes are checked can make the experience a lot easier. Come talk to one of our trusted divorce attorneys today in a free, no-obligation consultation and see how we can help guide you through this stressful time.

Disclaimer: No information provided on this website should be perceived as legal advice. The content of this website is only intended to provide general information. Only the establishment of an attorney-client relationship with Buchin Law Office can lead to the inception of legal advice from any member of the office team.


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