What are the Differences Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

What are the Differences Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

Going through a divorce can be complicated and exhausting for a couple. It requires a great deal of time and patience to determine the necessary arrangements for a divorce to be official. These proceedings may vary depending on if spouses can come to an agreement on their marital issues. Different divorces allow for couples to work through the process in a way that suits their own circumstances. There are two main types of divorce that a couple may go through: contested divorce and uncontested divorce. Spouses going through divorce proceedings can benefit from a skilled attorney to navigate these proceedings.

Contested Divorce

When both spouses cannot come to an agreement on their marital issues, it is known as a contested divorce. In this situation, neither spouse signs an agreement on their terms of separation. This leaves these matters unsolved. When this happens, a judge is appointed to resolve the couple’s disagreements for them. This may include decisions regarding child support, custody, the division of assets, and alimony.

In a contested divorce, a spouse can cite either “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. When a spouse cites no-fault grounds, they are not holding the other spouse responsible for the end of their marriage. This allows the divorce proceedings to begin. When fault grounds is cited, it means one spouse is holding the other responsible for their marriage ending. This may a result of one of the following situations:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Non-support
  • Cruel and abusive treatment
  • Impotency
  • Incarceration for over 5 years
  • Habitual intoxication or drug addiction

Uncontested Divorce

When both spouses believe their marriage is unfixable and agree to the terms of their divorce, it is an uncontested divorce. This is also known as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” When this happens, a couple is required to resolve all marital issues. This refers to matters such as alimony, child custody and support, parenting time, division of assets, and any payment of debts.

In the event that a divorce is uncontested, spouses can participate in an alternative method of divorce that exists outside litigation. This may include mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce. These alternative methods are voluntary, although they can be favorable for all parties involved.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce and wishes to seek legal counsel, contact the Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC. today.

The Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC is a family and divorce law firm serving Monmouth County and all of New Jersey that would be happy to assist you in legal counsel. If you need quality legal services, contact the firm for a consultation.