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What Is the Difference Between a Contested and an Uncontested Divorce?

 Posted on May 08, 2023 in Divorce

San Antonio Contested and Uncontested Divorce LawyersLegally ending a marriage can be a complex process. After filing for divorce, there are numerous issues that will need to be addressed and resolved, and specific legal procedures will need to be followed before a family court judge will issue an order terminating the marriage. In general, there are two potential approaches that may be taken during this process, and spouses may pursue either a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. By understanding how these approaches differ and the potential benefits and drawbacks of each option, a person can determine what they will need to do to complete their divorce successfully.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is one in which the spouses cannot agree on certain terms related to the end of their marriage. These disagreements may be related to issues such as child custody, property division, alimony, or any other matters that will need to be resolved before their marriage can be dissolved. When negotiations between spouses reach an impasse, they may bring these matters before a judge and ask them to make the final decisions. A divorce trial will then be held in which the spouses' attorneys will make arguments on their behalf, each side will question and cross-examine witnesses, and evidence may be presented. The judge will determine how all outstanding issues will be resolved, and they will then create a divorce judgment and terminate the marriage. A divorce trial can be very expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining, and it is often a last resort when all other options for resolving disputes have failed.

Uncontested Divorce

In an uncontested divorce, a couple will be able to reach agreements on how all issues in their case will be resolved, without the need for court intervention. A couple may use a variety of methods to create a divorce settlement, including negotiating with each other with the help of their attorneys or using mediation. With an uncontested divorce, spouses can typically avoid a lengthy trial process. Once they have reached agreements on all outstanding issues in their case, they can attend a hearing where a judge will approve their settlement and terminate their marriage by issuing a divorce decree.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Option

A contested divorce has several disadvantages, such as increased costs and additional time needed to prepare for a trial. Since it will be an adversarial process, it may increase conflict between spouses and make it more difficult for them to cooperate in the future. However, a contested divorce may be necessary to ensure that fair decisions can be reached when addressing important issues such as child custody, child support, and the division of assets and debts. It may also be the best option in situations where negotiations may not be possible due to issues such as domestic violence.

In many cases, an uncontested divorce will be less expensive and less stressful, and it will allow spouses to complete the divorce process more quickly. By working together to agree on the terms of a settlement, spouses can make sure they will both be satisfied with the outcome of their case. For parents who will be sharing custody of children, an uncontested divorce can help them make sure they will be able to cooperate in the years to come. However, an uncontested divorce may not be possible if there are high levels of conflict or a power imbalance due to abuse that occurred during a couple's marriage.

Contact Our San Antonio Contested and Uncontested Divorce Lawyers

Whether you expect to complete your divorce amicably or believe that conflict will be unavoidable, Brandon Wong & Associates can help you determine the best approach to take during your case. Our Bexar County divorce attorneys can advise you of your rights and options and provide the representation you need as you work to end your marriage. To set up an appointment and learn more about how we can assist you, contact us at 210-201-3832.


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