The dissolution of marriage is never easy. It's typically tedious, given the complex process it involves. Couples that are planning to go through a divorce must muster a lot of patience to undergo various decision-making situations where specific arrangements must be made. The proceedings may vary depending on if the spouses are able to reach an agreement. There are also different types of divorces that allow them to work through matters in a way that suits their unique situations.
Whether you and your spouse agree on issues will determine whether you two have opted for a contested divorce or uncontested divorce. This article explains the difference between both types so you can eliminate the guesswork in the event that you do decide to go through a divorce.
What is an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce is a divorce decree where neither party has any sort of disagreement. While no divorce is really truly "uncontested" in the sense that the couple has any conflict, this type of dispute does not have to be resolved in court. When both parties agree to divorce, filing for an uncontested divorce saves both of them time and money through streamlined court procedures.
In an uncontested divorce, the couple must not have any financial disputes like child custody or alimony, and they should both agree to the divorce. If either party fails to show up for the divorce proceedings, it will still be considered as an agreement to the divorce.
What is the basic process of an uncontested divorce?
● Either party or both parties hire a divorce attorney to draft the necessary divorce documents.
● Both parties review the documents and agree to all the terms stated. The major issues both must agree on usually have to do with child custody, child support, division of assets, division of debts, and alimony.
● If both parties agree to the terms, then a judge is asked to review the documents.
● If the judge approves, a final divorce decree will be issued.
What is a contested divorce?
On the other hand, a contested divorce is one where one or both parties can't come to an agreement on one or many issues of their divorce. The most complicated of divorces, it's where the spouses cannot agree on the terms, hence the involvement of the court where they ask a judge to make the decisions for them.
A contested divorce is typically accomplished when one party files the divorce papers and then serves the other party with them. The average cost of a contested divorce is $5,000 per spouse, and the process usually takes about six months. Some contested divorces can even cost as high as $15,000 or more per spouse and take 12 months or longer.
What is the basic process of a contested divorce?
● Either party hires a divorce lawyer to file divorce documents with the court to open the case.
● They serve the documents to the other party. This gives the spouse notice that the other is requesting a divorce, along with a list of the claims.
● The served party has 21 days to respond to the documents.
Complex issues and high financial stakes are usually the hallmarks of contested divorces. Uncontested divorces can often be performed without a divorce attorney, but in contested divorces, the litigation often makes experienced counsel necessary. If one party is represented by a divorce attorney or there are complicated issues that must be resolved and navigated, enlisting the help of a divorce lawyer is the smart thing to do.
If you're based in Reno, NV, and need further professional advice about divorces and child custody cases, get in touch with us today, and our divorce and custody lawyers can help.