Contested versus Uncontested Divorce; What is the Difference?
An uncontested divorce is, in essence, a marriage separation and final dissolution where the spouses involved are in full agreement about how the divorce should go. This involves property separation, child custody, alimony, child support and all the aspects of ending a marriage that have to be addressed during the divorce proceeding.
In Florida, the law allows for a no fault divorce proceeding. This is an avenue where parties can decide to divorce without having to prove a reason for the separation, such as abandonment, adultery, violence or a major issue the court recognizes as an obvious reason for ending a marriage. When handled as a pre-determined and agreed divorce filing between parties, the process can be fairly quick and straightforward, which of course means less work and less expense involved to finalize the divorce.
A contested divorce, being the opposite of the above, is essentially when the spouses going through a divorce are not in agreement on the issue and are utilizing their legal representation to argue for different terms and results. The court often ends up being the final arbiter and decision-maker on these issues because the parties involved are unable to come to an agreement. For example, contested divorces are many times the material for entertainment media and magazines as celebrity spouses go through proceedings argue over income, property and child custody.
Florida, like any other state, has provisions for contested divorces. This case direction obviously involves more time, work, depositions, research, motions, and hearings. All of that time and energy will also end up triggering far more in legal expenses for both parties involved with the case as the activities are far more litigious than if agreed upon. So, if nothing else, there is a big financial advantage for both sides involved to agree on as much as possible before going into court. While divorce can be an emotional experience, taking some time to step back and realize what can be agreed upon usually saves everyone a lot of time and effort. This is where a skilled and experienced divorce attorney can really do a lot of good for a case, providing an objective position for a spouse and moving a case to agreement before it goes to divorce hearings.
For parties in the Naples and Plantation greater areas of Florida, our offices provide extensive representation in traditional, contested divorce proceedings, ensuring our clients have the best advocacy possible. We also provide advice and guidance on helping spouses reach full agreement to enjoy the expedited benefits of an uncontested divorce as well. We can professionally handle both types of cases, and make sure you can get on with your life.