Decoding Divorce: Breaking Down How Contested And Uncontested Divorce Can Lead You To A New Beginning

Decoding Divorce: Breaking Down How Contested And Uncontested Divorce Can Lead You To A New Beginning

No matter what you and your spouse’s reasons for divorce are, navigating divorce is never an easy thing to do. When you make the difficult decision to part ways with the person you vowed to spend forever with, it can be challenging to sort through all of the legal options available to you while simultaneously managing the emotional aspects of your split. There are a lot of words and legal lingo you may not understand. In this blog, we will decode the two main options for divorce – contested and uncontested – so that you can understand which one might be the best fit for you as you close this chapter of your life and start a new one. 


Contested Divorce: Complex, But Sometimes Necessary


Contested divorce is considered the “traditional” route to divorce, but it is also the most complicated. This method of divorcing is required for couples who cannot agree on the terms of their separation, like how assets and property should be distributed, how much alimony or spousal support should be awarded, and how custody will be arranged if they share children together. 


When two people can’t come to an agreement on these matters, a judge must be the one to decide for them. This often involves a lengthy and expensive court process where each party will have to present their case and supportive evidence in court. 


No one wants their divorce to turn into more conflict; however, if your spouse refuses to negotiate on the terms of divorce, is mentally or physically abusive, or you have serious concerns about the safety of your children, contested divorce might be the best path to take. 


Uncontested Divorce: A Smoother Path To Resolution


Unlike a contested divorce, an uncontested divorce is the process couples choose when they can agree on the terms of their divorce. Therefore, rather than going to trial and leaving the future of their assets and children in a judge’s hands, the couple controls what will become of them. This doesn’t mean that a couple will see exactly eye to eye on division of marital property, child custody/support, alimony/spousal support, and other divorce related issues, but they may on many of them. It does mean that they can agree for the good of the family.


Because uncontested divorce doesn’t take place in court, it has an added benefit of privacy in addition to being less expensive, less stressful, and less time consuming compared to contested divorce. Uncontested divorce can help preserve the relationship you have with your spouse because you are working collaboratively towards a common goal. Not only can this provide you with peace of mind, but it’s especially beneficial when you share children together, as you will always be connected through your co-parenting. 


Factors Influencing The Decision


Making the decision between contested or uncontested divorce is influenced by a myriad of factors that vary between every couple. After all, no two couples are the same, so why would a divorce be any different? 


How you and your spouse are able to communicate once you’ve made the decision to divorce will influence your choices. Couples who are able to communicate effectively during this time are going to be better off choosing uncontested divorce, while those who can’t stand to even be in the same room might find themselves at odds with one another, so much so that a contested divorce is the only feasible option. 


What your assets look like will also affect which you should choose. Money is one of the top things couples argue about. Contested divorce provides a structured examination of assets to ensure both parties end up with their fair share. On the other hand, for couples who have similar financial situations and who can mutually agree on the division of assets, uncontested divorce would be better suited to their needs.


Children are another factor that has a major impact on if you should opt for a contested or uncontested divorce. Depending on the reasons for divorce, one spouse might feel they’re better suited to take care of the children on their own, which typically leads to a contested divorce. However, if both parents are on amicable terms and neither have a history of abuse or neglect, children can benefit greatly from the less-disruptive effects of uncontested divorce on their lives. 


Pros And Cons Of Each Approach


To recap, let’s evaluate the pros and cons of contested and uncontested divorce.


Contested Divorce Uncontested Divorce

  • Possibly getting a more favorable outcome for property division. 
  • Gaining an advantage with child custody. 

  • Costs less than contested divorce.
  • Takes less time than a contested divorce (usually 1-3 months)
  • Allows you to maintain a positive relationship with your former spouse.


  • Getting an appropriate amount of alimony/spousal support may be difficult.
  • One spouse may try to take advantage of the other due to an imbalance of power in the relationship. 


In summary, whether you choose contested or uncontested divorce is entirely up to you. It’s important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to divorce. While you may find comfort in seeking advice from a friend or family who has gone through a divorce, their situation likely wasn’t the same as yours is. That’s why it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of an experienced divorce attorney who will take the time to listen to your story and explain what options might be right for your life!


How The Grey Legal Group Can Help You

If you and your spouse know it’s time to go your separate ways, the divorce attorneys at The Grey Legal Group will take the time to understand your situation and goals so that we can explain which divorce process will help you achieve the greatest possible outcome. Our divorce attorneys have the skills and knowledge needed to advocate for your best interests during either divorce process while also protecting your rights. When you’re ready, call The Grey Legal Group to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team.

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The Grey Legal Group

At The Grey Legal Group, we believe in helping all families with their legal needs so they can be protected on your journey back to a calmer, happier place of stability. Whether it is divorce, child custody, guardianship, domestic violence, or adoption, we have seen it all before and we can help you through it. With the legal knowledge and experience we bring to the table, we will be certain to find the best and most efficient solution to your situation.

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