Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

Once you have decided to file for divorce, it is important to understand the different types of divorce processes out there. The type of divorce you choose, either contested or uncontested, depends largely on the type of relationship you have with your spouse, and the ways in which each of you views your split. If both parties are able to reach an agreement about the majority of the big decisions in a divorce, they can go through with an uncontested divorce. However, when spouses cannot agree about the various aspects of their divorce, they must go through a contested divorce.

There are pros and cons to either divorce process, though it is usually much easier and less stressful to go through an uncontested divorce. Unfortunately, for many divorcing couples reaching an agreement about the terms of their split is nearly impossible, and therefore a contested divorce is the only option.

Uncontested Divorce Process

In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree to the divorce and come to an agreement about most aspects of their divorce. This often includes issues like alimony, property division, child support, and child custody. You can either negotiate these issues amongst yourselves, and have official contracts drawn up by a qualified lawyer, or you can go through mediation. When a couple utilizes the mediation process, they can discuss their divorce under the supervision of an unbiased, third-party mediator. The mediator can help with the resolution of smaller solutions while each spouse and his or her respective lawyers help with negotiations.

During this process, the spouses seeking a divorce have much of the control. They are able to plan mediation dates based on their own schedules and those of their attorneys. Unlike in the courtroom, the parties involved in mediation can choose their own divorce terms, and may continue discussing alternative options until both spouses agree. This process can also be less expensive, quicker, and, as a result, far less stressful than litigation.

Contested Divorce Process

While an uncontested divorce can be favorable for several reasons, for many divorcing couples it is simply not an option. Many spouses do not see eye to eye on how they wish to end their marriage. If you are unable to agree on major decisions involving property division, alimony, child custody, or child support, you will need the help of your local court. In a contested divorce, both spouses and their respective attorneys will come to court where the divorce case is presented to a judge. The judge will decide what is best for the couple, and will have the final say regarding property division, child custody, and other divorce aspects.

Contact Chung & Ignacio, LLP to discuss your divorce case with our Rancho Cucamonga family law attorneys.