A contested divorce is exactly as the name implies. This is where the two parties cannot agree on terms of the divorce and therefore will need some sort of moderation or legal judgement to get it finalized.
An uncontested divorce is where both parties agree to the divorce, have decided how to split their belongings and now just need to move forward with the legal process.
One very significant difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce is the time and money involved. The filing fees are the same but a contested divorce can result in a large accumulation of attorney’s fees. With both types of divorces there is a process and a period of time that must go by before they are finalized.
Both spouses have agreed to all divorce related issues. They can file the paperwork for divorce themselves or hire a professional attorney who specialized in uncontested divorces to do it. The attorney will do it right the first time and let their client know the exact process and timeline. Hiring a professional to work on something as important as legal matters is a no-brainer. You want it done right and in a timely fashion.
Contested Divorce Steps:
- Prepare and file divorce partition.
- Serve papers.
- Respond to petition.
- Find and interview attorneys.
- Engage in “discovery”, ie., information gathering process.
- File all pre-trial legal motions.
- Settlement proposals and negotiations.
- If necessary, prepare for trial.
- Trial in court.
- If unhappy with verdict, file an appeal.
As you can see it is quite the process. A good attorney will guide you through these steps and keep you well informed. A bad attorney may have you constantly wondering what comes next.
Yes an contested divorce is preferable to everyone who is getting divorced. But much of the time, one side is not happy with the divorce or what they are being offered and and a contested divorce must take place.