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Divorce: Contested or uncontested, what’s the difference?

For some couples in New York and elsewhere, the dissolution of marriage is a long, drawn out process in which numerous disagreements and arguments occur. Other couples, though, may be able to get through the divorce process swiftly and with few issues. The ability to quickly resolve the matter is the difference between an uncontested and contested divorce.

In an uncontested divorce, both spouses have a mutual desire to end the marriage. Along with that, they agree on how property is to be divided and what will happen to children — if applicable. Divorcing couples in this type of situation are typically able to reach an agreeable settlement without the need for court intervention. However, utilizing legal counsel during negotiations is wise in order to ensure the final settlement is truly fair for both parties.

A contested divorce, on the other hand, means that at least one spouse disagrees with the divorce in some way and that both spouses are unable to come to terms regarding asset division and/or child custody — if applicable. These cases often cannot be settled through out-of-court negotiations. Instead, litigation is required. A judge will be presented as much applicable information as possible from both sides and then he or she will determine a final settlement.

Whether going through an uncontested or contested divorce in New York, seeking legal guidance is strongly advised. Both parties should be able to walk away from the marriage with a financial settlement that is satisfactory and custody arrangements that best fit the needs of the family. Even if a divorce is contentious, it is possible resolve the matter in a manner that considers the interests of all involved parties.

Source: nycourts.gov, “Divorce Resources: What is the difference between a Contested and an Uncontested Divorce?”, Accessed on Aug. 10, 2016