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What is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce?

| Jul 8, 2019 | Firm News

If you and your spouse are in the midst of a complicated divorce in which you cannot agree, you may be headed towards a contested divorce. A contested divorce is often more expensive and complicated than an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses come to an agreement and do not need a court determination on any aspect of their divorce.

When is uncontested divorce an option?

If you and your spouse can agree on the division of assets, child support, custody arrangements and all other aspects, an uncontested divorce is possible. In this case, your divorce may be less expensive, time-consuming and complicated than a contested divorce. This is the better option for many couples, it makes the divorce as smooth as possible.

Even if you and your spouse initially argue about some aspects of your divorce but ultimately come to an agreement before going to court, the divorce is uncontested. In many cases, couples may argue about some aspects of their divorce but will settle before the trial.

An uncontested divorce is more common than a contested divorce. In most cases, if the spouses are unable to agree on their own, their attorneys help them come to an agreement before going to court.

Whether you need an attorney to guide you through the process or if you and your spouse can agree on your own, an uncontested divorce is likely to be quicker and less of a financial burden than a contested divorce.

What does a contested divorce entail?

A contested divorce is more complicated than an uncontested divorce. Because neither party can agree on one or more aspects of their divorce, they must go to court to finalize their divorce. During the trial, the spouses provide witnesses that testify on their behalf and the lawyers will do a cross-examination before the judge finalizes the divorce.

You may need legal representation either type of divorce. If you and your spouse can come to an agreement in an uncontested divorce, you may not need an attorney. On the other hand, it is not recommended that you represent yourself in a contested divorce.