03 Apr Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces
In an ideal world, divorces would be relatively straightforward, but Bloom Law Office knows that isn’t always the case. There are primarily two types of divorces: Contested and uncontested. An uncontested divorce means the spouses agree on their divorce terms. The court isn’t needed to divide assets or help determine child support, child custody, or alimony. Uncontested divorces move through the system pretty quickly and are a lot less complicated. However, many divorces are contested.
A contested divorce happens when one or both spouses can’t agree on the terms. This might include disagreement on debt allocation, child custody, child support, alimony, asset division, or any other matter. It’s somewhat common for a divorce to start contested then shift to uncontested before the trial, which can avoid a drawn-out process and additional expenses. When this occurs, it’s called a settlement and is often a goal of reputable divorce attorneys.
One big advantage of a settlement is that neither party will appeal it. By definition, a settlement means both parties have agreed. Litigation is now over, and the divorcee will soon be finalized. Due to the finality of a settlement, it’s paramount that the agreement is memorialized right away to become enforced and binding.
The majority of attorneys and judges—as well as spouses—prefer to settle out of court, uncontested (whether uncontested originally or via settlement). Even in a fully contested divorce, a settlement will finally need to be reached. It’s just a matter of time, but that time can be stressful and cause additional expenses.
There’s a trend of “DIY divorces” for uncontested divorces, but that’s not necessarily the best approach. You want to be certain you’re protected and getting a fair agreement when divorcing. In some cases, spouses may try to represent themselves—and often live up to the quote, “He who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.” Having a divorce attorney on your side is one of the best moves you can make, and the earlier, the better. The stakes are high, and emotions are running even higher. In a contested divorce, the complexities are rich, and it’s nearly impossible for a non-attorney to fully understand. Representing yourself can lead to expensive and devastating results. If you’re considering divorce, contact Bloom Law Office at 855-208-3650 and talk with a divorce attorney today.