Understanding Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

When you think of divorce do you imagine a long, drawn-out battle in which people who used to love each other seek revenge and express their anger? While divorce is often portrayed that way, it is luckily not always how it happens. In fact, California family courts try to keep this from happening as much as possible. It is encouraged to pursue a summary dissolution, a special type of an uncontested divorce — in other words, a divorce in which the spouses are able to reach an agreement on the terms of their divorce without litigating the matter. 

Who can get a summary dissolution divorce?

It sounds appealing, right? It could be right for you, but only if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have no minor children and neither spouse is pregnant.
  • Your grounds for divorce are “irreconcilable differences.”
  • You separated after less than five years of marriage.
  • Your marital assets are worth less than $45,000 total.
  • You don’t have unpaid debts of more than $6,000 excluding car loans.
  • Neither spouse owns real estate.

Why would I choose an uncontested divorce?

Summary dissolution is faster and easier than a contested divorce. If you meet the criteria listed above, you can forego arguments about things like alimony and child custody. You will avoid the discomfort of making your soon-to-be-ex your opponent. It can help you avoid burning bridges and maintain whatever friendship or respect is left in your relationship. While breaking up is never easy, uncontested divorces tend to be less stressful and anxiety-ridden because you get to avoid the battle part of things.

Why would I choose a contested divorce?

If you don’t meet the requirements for summary dissolution, you will have no choice but to proceed with a contested divorce. And some people may choose it even when uncontested is an option. Why? This is the path you take when you cannot agree to terms of your divorce amicably. You will have the opportunity to state your case and leave the terms up to the judge.

If you have experienced domestic abuse, you should resolve your marriage through a contested divorce. You will have better chances of a favorable outcome in court.

Who can help me if I have questions about divorce in California?

If your marriage is coming to an end, you likely have many questions about the ins and outs of the divorce process. The Grey Legal team is here for you. We have guided clients through many divorces, both contested and uncontested. We can help you determine which path is right for you based on your unique circumstances. If you have questions or if you’re ready to partner with us, please contact us today at (951) 419-5064. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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The Grey Legal Group, APC

At The Grey Legal Group, we take pride in getting to know our clients personally. Whether you’re going through a divorce, child custody issues, or problems enforcing divorce orders, you can feel confident in our knowledgeable, hands-on approach.

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