Going through a divorce is always going to be a challenging experience, but doesn’t mean that all divorces are the same or that there aren’t some that are significantly less difficult than others. In the state of Florida, the two main categories of divorce are known as contested and uncontested divorces. They will both end with the dissolution of your marriage, but the path they take to get there can be significantly different. This blog post offers some insights into the main differences between contested and uncontested divorces so you can decide which one will work best in your situation.
An uncontested divorce is when both parties are willing (and able) to work out all the different issues that need to be resolved in the divorce. This means that you will work with your soon-to-be ex, typically along with your attorneys and possibly a moderator, to decide on things like child custody, child support, division of assets, alimony, and any other relevant decision. Once you come to an agreement, it will be written up and presented to the courts. As long as there aren’t any glaring legal problems with the agreement, the judge will sign off and your divorce will be finalized.
While most people picture divorces as being hugely difficult events where every little issue is argued in court, that actually doesn’t happen most of the time. Instead, most Florida divorces are uncontested. It is important to keep in mind, however, that both parties need to be willing to work together. If either party is completely unreasonable, the divorce will have to be a contested divorce.
If you and your spouse can’t agree on the terms of the divorce, it will be a contested divorce. A divorce case can start off as contested, or it can convert from an uncontested divorce after the parties determine they can’t work things out reasonably. In this type of divorce, both parties (typically through their attorneys) will present their arguments for the various areas of disagreement to the judge, who will then make a decision on what should happen.
It is important to remember that even if you will need to have a contested divorce to overcome some specific disagreements, that doesn’t mean that the courts will need to be involved with every decision. In many cases, a divorcing couple can agree on the majority of decisions, and will then turn to the courts to settle the final few disagreements. This can save a lot of time (and money) compared to battling in court for every single decision.
Whether you are going to have an uncontested or a contested divorce, you will want to have an experienced attorney at your side. In uncontested divorces, we can help you negotiate agreements that all parties can be happy with, and then write up the agreement to present to the courts. In a contested divorce, we’ll fight aggressively for your rights throughout the case. Please contact us to discuss your divorce and learn more about your options.