Contested Vs Uncontested Divorce

Last updated on October 7th, 2022 at 07:22 am

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A divorce happens when there are irreconcilable differences in a marriage. Divorce-related issues like custody of children need to be decided.

The spouses can’t work out a parenting plan and also decide on alimony. If they can do it mutually, they can have an uncontested divorce. Else, the divorce can be contested in court.

Is it worth contesting a divorce?

A divorce case can become complicated when the spouses cannot agree on division of assets, child custody, and other related issues. Legal counsel can be taken for a mediated solution.

When this does not work out, then the best options for you involve contesting a divorce. A contested divorce takes place in a court of law, where the judge passes an order to resolve all issues.

With good legal advice, you can hope to get a favorable verdict from the court. The judge would ensure an equitable distribution of property and also decide on alimony, child custody, and child support.

Difference between contested and uncontested divorce in GA

In an uncontested divorce, a settlement agreement is worked out between the two spouses. The services of an experienced divorce attorney would be helpful in drawing up a fair settlement.

When spousal support and child support is needed, but the husband refuses to pay up, then the wife has no option but to choose a contested divorce

In an uncontested divorce, the couple resolve all issues on their own and then approach the court to get their marriage dissolved

In a contested divorce, the matter goes to trial. The judge would decide on all issues after a detailed hearing.

What is uncontested divorce meaning?

A divorcing couple needs to work out the terms of their divorce. The division of property needs to be finalized along with other issues related to the divorce.

Divorce mediation can help the spouses decide on issues like child custody, visitation rights, division of assets, alimony, and child support.

Once a settlement is worked out, the spouses can then approach the court. They can get their marriage dissolved and resolve all issues as per the settlement agreement worked out.

An uncontested divorce is when the spouses settle all issues by themselves without having to go through a court trial.

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How long does an uncontested divorce take?

It takes less time for an uncontested divorce since the spouses resolve all the divorce-related issues on their own.

If there are minor children, then custody and child support issues arise. These can cause conflicts leading to a trial in a court.

If a couple decide to work out a settlement themselves, then they can get an uncontested divorce. Since there is no court hearing needed the process is faster.

Each state has a waiting period from the time when the divorce papers are filed. Once the waiting period is complete, the marriage can be dissolved.

It would thus take anywhere from 0 to 365 days depending on the state where the divorce petition is filed.

What is a contested divorce and how does it work?

A contested divorce is when divorcing spouses cannot settle issues on their own. For example, child custody, child support, and alimony payment are issues that are difficult to settle.

When this happens, there is a deadlock. That leaves no option but to opt for a contested divorce in a court.

The couple need to hire attorneys to represent them and pay their legal fees. The attorneys would then file a divorce petition in the court and the judge would hold a hearing.

Both the attorneys would present their sides of the divorce. The judge would listen to all facts and go through documents related to assets.

Based on all these, the judge would decide the contested issues and pass a divorce decree. The order of the judge would ensure fair division of assets.

The judge would also decide on child custody, child support, visitation rights, alimony payment, and any other issues.

What is the contested divorce process?

In a contested divorce, the divorce proceedings happen before a court. The process of divorce depends on the type of divorce.

The main types of divorce are fault and no-fault divorce. A fault divorce is where a spouse finds fault with the other during the divorce proceedings.

In a no-fault divorce, the divorce proceedings can go ahead without blaming the other spouse or finding fault with them.

The divorce process involves various legal procedures that need to be followed. The following steps explain how the divorce process works.

  • A divorce petition has to be filed in the court to start the process.
  • You need to serve divorce papers to your spouse. The court has to be informed of the service.
  • Your spouse may file an answer. The time allowed for this depends on state laws applicable.
  • If the spouse decides not to contest the divorce, it can go on without problems. When the spouse contests, then the judge fixes a date for hearing the case.
  • A trial takes place where both spouses present their case through their lawyers. It is possible that a settlement may happen in-between the trial, which the judge accepts.
  • When no settlement is possible, the hearing concludes. The judge then decides the case based on the law and case merits. A divorce decree is awarded which resolves all issues including division of assets, child custody, visitation rights, child support, and alimony.
  • If any of the spouse is not happy with the judgment, they can file an appeal before a superior court.

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Contested vs uncontested divorce NY


In NY, if the couple want an uncontested divorce they need to first work out a settlement. They can file the forms before the court (with a copy of the agreement).

The spouses need to live apart for a year before filing for divorce.

The spouse is served with papers and needs to return the affidavit of defendant. The judge would then grant the divorce and dissolve the marriage.

When the spouse is served with papers, they have an option to contest the divorce. In contested cases, the divorce proceedings take place before a judge.

The help of a skilled divorce attorney can be taken to argue the case before the judge. After hearing both sides, the judge would decide the case and pass the divorce decree.

The trial may take weeks or months depending on the facts of the case.

What are some reasons to contest a divorce?


It is a good idea to contest a divorce if a spouse cannot agree on the divorce or the terms of the divorce. It is in the best interests of children to choose a contested divorce when issues related to child custody and support cannot be agreed on.

When a spouse suspects the other of hiding assets, a contested divorce is inevitable. When there is abuse in the marriage a contested divorce is required.

When one of the spouses is not ready to compromise, or issues like alimony and asset division can’t be agreed then a contested divorce is required.

A contested divorce ensures the spouse’s legal rights are protected since a judge decides the case based on merits.

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FAQs relating to contested vs uncontested divorce

The questions below tell you all you want to know about contested and uncontested divorces.

What does contested mean in a divorce?

A contested divorce is where one of the spouse refuses to accept the divorce. It also happens when the two spouses cannot agree on the terms of the divorce

In a contested divorce, the divorce proceedings take place in front of a judge. You need legal representation and have to present your case before the judge.

The judge will then decide the case and pass a decree. The decree would award the divorce and rule on issues like property division, child custody, alimony, child support, etc.

How long do you have to be separated to get a divorce?

This depends on the state where the divorce takes place. In some states, there are no separation requirements.

You can file for divorce and get it granted after a hearing.

In other states, a separation period of specified time is prescribed. The divorce can happen only after the couple stay separated for that duration.

What is contested divorce?

A contested divorce is where the two spouses are not able to agree on the divorce. When there are major issues related to division of assets or child custody, then a contested divorce takes place

The help of an experienced attorney can be taken to contest the divorce in court. The judge would conduct a hearing and then decide of the divorce.

Do I have to go to court for uncontested divorce?

You need to go to court to file for an uncontested divorce. If both parties agree, then the court will award the divorce. Taking assistance of an experienced family law attorney can help you complete this process fast

You may not have to go before a judge, but have to file the petition before the court.

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