Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce: What is the Difference?

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce: What is the Difference?

Divorce Law, Family Law

Understanding the types of divorce in Missouri

When a relationship goes sour, the last thing anyone wants to consider is how to end it.

This can be particularly difficult if you’ve got kids.

When going through a divorce with kids, you need an attorney who understands the legal intricacies of a divorce with children.

It may not seem like it at first, but there are many factors that come into play when considering separation from your spouse and ending your marriage.

Once you hire a divorce lawyer, he or she will begin by gathering information about your family unit so that they can advise you on how to proceed with the divorce proceeding.

They will also help you understand the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce.

What is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce is when both spouses cannot agree on any of the issues of the divorce.

This can be very stressful and can take a long time to be resolved, sometimes longer than 18 months, if counsel represents the parties.

Contested divorces can become very emotional and stressful because both spouses are fighting over divorce issues. It is very important to remain focused on the issues and not get caught up in the emotions.

When it is contested, one spouse refuses to agree to get divorced or disagrees with the other party about the division of property, child custody or spousal maintenance.

In a contested divorce, you and your spouse don’t see eye-to-eye on at least one issue.

A contested divorce will take longer and be more costly than an uncontested divorce because of the disagreements you and your spouse have between each other.

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What are the steps for an uncontested divorce?

Most couples who decide to divorce will put their assets together and hire a lawyer to go through the divorce process together.

The first thing to do is decide where you want to file for divorce. You can file in the state where you live, where you got married, where your spouse lives, or the state where your spouse is receiving military benefits. Where you file will depend on how you want the divorce to be processed. Next, you and your spouse must decide how you want to divide your assets, debts, and liabilities.

Your local divorce lawyer will put together a couple’s settlement agreement to ensure you and your spouse agree on everything. You and your spouse will sign the settlement agreement and then take it to a judge for approval.

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is when both spouses mutually agree to get divorced and there are no disagreements over assets, child custody, child support or spousal maintenance.

Uncontested divorces are much faster and easier than a contested divorce because you and your spouse have agreed on everything.

Advantages of an uncontested divorce

Couples who file for divorce will usually split up all of the assets, debts, and liabilities fairly quickly and efficiently. If there are no disagreements between spouses, it will be much faster and less costly to get a divorce than a couple who has disagreements.

Suppose you and your spouse have been in a long-term marriage.

In that case, it is possible that one spouse may have some kind of spousal support or alimony, which is money given to a spouse who cannot work due to a disability, like a serious illness, or if they are taking care of a child with special needs.

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Disadvantages of an uncontested divorce

You and your spouse may be settling for less than what you would get in a contested divorce.

For example, in a contested divorce, one spouse may want the family home and the other spouse may want spousal support. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses may agree to sell the family home and split the proceeds. However, in a contested divorce, the spouse who wants the family home may get it and spousal support as well.

Advantages of a contested divorce

Couples who go through a contested divorce know that both spouses are getting what they want out of the divorce. You might end up with more than you would in an uncontested divorce.

Suppose one spouse is entitled to spousal support or alimony.

In that case, the amount and length of time it will be given will be determined in a contested divorce unless the spouses agree to a lesser amount or for a shorter period.

Disadvantages of a contested divorce

If you go through a contested divorce, you may become very angry and frustrated with your spouse.

You may be spending a lot of money on your attorney.

You may also prolong the divorce process, which will be very stressful and strain the entire family. If you are entitled to spousal support, it may be delayed because one spouse refuses to agree to the divorce terms.

Finding a divorce lawyer

If you and your spouse can agree on all of the divorce issues, it will be much faster and less costly than a contested divorce.

You may also feel that you have come out with a better settlement than in a contested divorce.

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A contested divorce may be necessary if one spouse does not want to settle and wants to continue to fight over the issues of the divorce.

Finding the right divorce lawyer is an important step in the divorce process.

Divorce laws vary by state, so Missouri’s divorce laws may be different in your state, but, as divorce attorneys in St. Charles, Missouri, we may not offer the same things as a divorce attorney in St. Louis.

Contact us for a free consultation today!

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