Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce
Learn Which Option is Right for You
Are you currently facing divorce in South Florida? The divorce process
can be ugly and contentious at times, but it does not always have to be
that way. Breaking physical ties with your spouse can create deep hurt
feelings and emotional trauma, which makes it difficult to resolve the
difficult issues that arise out of
divorce. When creating a divorce agreement, you and your spouse will have to settle
child custody, child support, alimony and the division of property.
From here the divorce process can go one of two ways. If you and your spouse
are able to be civil and reach an amicable agreement regarding these issues,
then the process will go quicker and smoother. Unfortunately, that is
not always the case- if you both are unable to negotiate and resolve these
matters then the court will have to intervene and the case becomes a bit
uncontested divorce, the spouses need to be able reach an agreement on every term and condition
in their divorce. In an uncontested divorce the spouses do not necessarily
have to be friendly and warm to each other, but they are able to resolve
their divorce issues outside of court without the assistance of a judge.
If mediation becomes necessary, the parties can utilize a neutral third
party member to help them work through disputes. Once all of the divorce
matters are agreed upon, they must be put down into writing, into what
is referred to as the "divorce agreement."
With an uncontested divorce, it would still be wise for both parties to
obtain their own legal representation so that they have an assertive legal
advocate there to provide guidance and answers. A Broward County divorce
attorney from my firm could then draft the divorce agreement for you and
ensure that the proper language is used on the legal forms. If you and
your spouse drafted the agreement, then would definitely be in your best
interest to have your attorney review the legal contract so that you can
feel confident that your rights are fully protected.
One major benefit to filing an uncontested divorce is that you and your
spouse have more control over the terms and conditions of the agreement-
the issues are not being decided by a judge on your behalf. Once the agreement
is drafted, it still needs to be approved by the court. The court will
then schedule a final hearing date when they will review the proposed
agreement and grant the divorce, for which only one spouse has to attend
this final hearing.
In the event that one or both spouses are unable to reach an agreement
on the terms of their divorce, then they will have to file for a contested
divorce. With cases of this nature, emotions are running high and the
two parties are unable to agree, so they take the matter to court for
a judge to decide upon unresolved family issues.
Contested divorce cases are typically more complicated and time consuming
than an uncontested divorce. This is because the parties have to wait
to attend the court hearings and they may even end up in a full blown
trial over these matters. The contentious issues that divorcing parties
have trouble with are matters of custody, support, property, debts, assets and
alimony. Who will the children live with? How will the property be divided? Who
has to pay child support or spousal support? If these issues cannot be
resolved, then you will need an aggressive attorney to fight beside you
in court and who will submit evidence to support your requests.
In some cases, the parties in a contested divorce are able to settle and
agree after just one or two court hearings and the case does not have
to go to trial. If not, both parties will have to pay trial litigation
fees and the divorce will end up costing them more. So if at all possible,
try to pursue an uncontested divorce in order to save yourself time and
money. By avoiding trial, you may be able to diffuse some emotional tension
and the scars of battling it out in court.
How a Broward County Divorce Lawyer can Help
If you are unsure of the route your divorce will take, do not hesitate
to schedule a free case evaluation with an attorney at my firm. I have
over a decade handling divorce and family law cases and I could help you
achieve the most desirable outcome in your case. To learn more about the
differences between contested and uncontested divorce,
contact Lindsay A. Feldman, P.A. today. I proudly serve families in Miami-Dade and Broward County, Florida.