There are two different types of divorce: uncontested and contested. Each type has its own set of challenges and considerations that require careful planning in order to ensure the best outcome possible. Read on to learn more about these two very different types of divorces and which one is right for you.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which both parties agree on all issues relating to the end of their marriage. This includes decisions about property division, child custody, and alimony. A no-fault divorce can be uncontested, meaning that neither party blames the other for the end of the marriage. An uncontested divorce is much quicker than a contested divorce, because both parties want the divorce and are able to amicably agree on how marital assets are to be divided as well as other issues. Short term marriages with no children and few accumulated assets or debts are often easy to end uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, the parties may file a joint petition for divorce, or one spouse may file a petition for divorce making sure the other spouse is notified through service of the petition for divorce.
What is a Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce is one in which the spouses cannot agree on one or more aspects of the divorce, such as child custody, division of assets, or spousal support. One spouse may begin the divorce process by filing for divorce with the court which includes their terms for the divorce. The other spouse may contest the divorce by disagreeing with the terms set out by the opposing party. This therefore leads to negotiation between the parties and/or their attorneys to come up with terms of divorce both parties can agree with. If the spouses cannot reach an agreement though negotiation, they may need to go through mediation, where a professional meditator helps the couple iron out their terms. Finally if they still can not reach an agreement, they will go to trial and present their individual terms to a judge and the judge will decide the terms of divorce. Obviously this is more expensive and time-consuming than an uncontested divorce. Remember in an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on all aspects of the divorce before filing for divorce.
Difference Between a Contested and an Uncontested Divorce
When a couple decides to divorce, they can either do so uncontested or contested. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on the terms of the divorce and do not need a judge to make any decisions. They come up with their own agreement and the court approves and issues the judgment of divorce. This is the quickest and easiest way to get divorced because there is agreement. In a contested divorce, there is not agreement initially. The couple needs to work out the terms of the divorce. If they can come up with an agreement, they can file it along with the request for the judge to okay the divorce. If they cannot come to an agreement on some or all issues, then a trial will enable a judge to settle or make decisions on contested issues such as child custody, alimony, and division of assets.
Benefits of Uncontested Divorce
There are many benefits to an uncontested divorce. With an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement outside of court, which can save you time and money. Additionally, contested divorces can be very stressful and take a toll on both parties involved. By having an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse can avoid this stress and move on with your lives.
Uncontested vs No-Fault Divorce
An uncontested divorce is not the same as a no-fault divorce. In a no-fault divorce, the spouse who files for divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on all aspects of the divorce, including why it is happening.
Is Court Required for Uncontested Divorces?
If you have an uncontested divorce, you may not have to go to court. This means that you and your spouse agree on all aspects of the divorce, including child custody, property division, and alimony. However, you will still need to file for divorce and submit the proper paperwork in order for the court to grant the divorce. You may need to hire a divorce attorney to help you with the paperwork.
Is Mediation Required for Uncontested Divorces?
In an uncontested divorce, mediation is not required. You can simply file for divorce and your spouse will be served with the paperwork and agree to divorce. However, some couples still may use mediation as a way to iron out the details of the actual divorce such as division of property or custody arrangements.
Schedule a Consultation With a Redwood City Divorce Lawyer
An uncontested divorce can be much simpler and less stressful than a contested divorce. When you decide to divorce, consider whether your spouse will agree with the terms of the divorce and if not, whether going through a contested divorce is worth it. If your spouse will agree to all of the terms of the divorce, then an uncontested divorce is likely your best option. For help, contact the Law Offices of Bradley Bayan at (650) 364-3600 to discuss your questions about divorce.