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The Differences Between a Contested & Uncontested Divorce

Just as relationships vary according to the two individuals involved, so do divorces. While Florida offers three types of divorces, in general, the most common divorces in the state will either be contested or uncontested.

Put simply, a contested divorce is a divorce where a couple cannot agree either on the divorce itself or the terms put in place in the divorce agreement. These terms encompass everything from spousal support and child custody matters to asset and property division. In an uncontested divorce, a couple agrees with the terms set forth without the need to go to court or pursue an alternative dispute resolution method, such as mediation, to resolve their differences.

The Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce

If you and your spouse can reach an agreement about all matters pertaining to your divorce, an uncontested divorce is the way to go. The various benefits of an uncontested divorce include but are not limited to the following:

  • Avoid litigation and court

If you and your spouse cannot resolve your differences together or with the help of an attorney or mediator, you will have to do so in court. Litigation can be expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. Additionally, you do not have control over the outcome in a contested divorce. The court will make decisions for you regarding matters such as child custody, spousal support, and asset and property division. This may result in a divorce agreement that does not line up with your interests.

  • Maintain an amicable relationship with your spouse

Couples that can work together and collaborate are more likely to be able to have an amicable relationship with one another. This benefits their family as they are also more likely to make compromises in the future and will be able to co-parent more effectively in the long term.

  • Resolve your divorce quickly

An uncontested divorce finalizes much faster than a contested divorce. As the couple can agree on all terms of their divorce, they avoid disputes and having to go to court.

  • Cost-effective

A contested divorce can get expensive due to attorney fees, especially in the case of a highly contentious divorce. Lengthy litigation can also drive up the divorce bill. Typically, the sooner you can settle your differences, the less the divorce will cost.

The Benefits of a Contested Divorce

While an uncontested divorce has many benefits, it is not always an option for every couple. Sometimes a couple cannot resolve their differences themselves and agree on all issues related to their divorce. This should not be considered a bad option as all marriages are different and what might suit one couple might not suit another. In the event this happens, a contested divorce may work best for them. The benefits of a contested divorce include but are not limited to the following:

  • Allows you to take time to consider your needs

Instead of just agreeing with your spouse on all matters related to your divorce to reach a resolution as fast as possible, a contested divorce gives you time to think about your interests and needs. Intentionally trying to avoid an argument just to finalize a divorce could lead to future disputes and would not be beneficial to your family in the long run.

  • Helps you resolve contentious disputes

For some couples, having a judge intervene and help them resolve their disputes is exactly what they need. In the event these disputes are extremely contentious and cannot be resolved through other methods, going to court might provide the couple with much needed peace of mind.

  • Stops one spouse from taking advantage of the other

While an uncontested divorce may be what one spouse wants, it is important for the other spouse to determine if this is also in his/her best interests. In a relationship where one spouse exhibits controlling behavior, it might be difficult for the other spouse to express his/her needs. Therefore, an uncontested divorce would not be the best move for this spouse.

Consult with a Reputable Divorce Lawyer from Our Firm

Ending a marriage is never an easy process. However, with the right advocate, it can be resolved in a manner that protects your rights and promotes your interests (whenever possible). If you need help determining which type of divorce to pursue, contact our office today. At Bauer Law Group, P.A., we take a holistic approach to family law matters and strive to protect you and your family through your case and the future to come.

To learn more about our divorce services, contact us online today or call our office at (352) 310-8169.