In uncontested divorce proceedings, couples agree on the distribution of property, assets, and issues that relate to children.
In contrast, contested divorce proceedings result from a lack of agreement between a couple that is getting divorced.
In some contested divorce proceedings, only one spouse is seeking a divorce. In a contested divorce, spouses are unable to agree on all, or some of the issues generally involved in a divorce.
Oftentimes, spouses with children are unable to agree on the terms for child support, child custody, and child visitation. In addition, some couples cannot decide on an equitable distribution of marital property and debt.
Contested divorces generally take a long time, require a lot of money, and involve undue stress for spouses and any children involved. In fact, contested divorces can take years to reach a resolution.
In contested divorces, one spouse is required to file a petition for divorce and serve the petition to the other spouse in a legally acceptable manner. In most states, a spouse that fails to respond to the petition is found in default, and a judge will grant a default settlement of divorce.
However, most contested divorces end up with the spouses battling for assets and other marital issues present in divorce proceedings. In contested divorces, divorce proceedings can be very time consuming, and dissolution of a marriage often takes quite a long time.
In fact, contested divorce proceedings often take years to resolve. Divorce proceedings that take that much time can cause vast amounts of stress for spouses and their families.
In addition, couples involved in contested divorce proceedings often end up spending greater amounts of money that were involved in the original dispute.
In fact, contested divorce proceedings involve many billable hours for both spouse’s attorneys, which can end up costing the couple a fortune. However, a larger issue in contested divorces is parental rights regarding any children that resulted from the marriage.
Generally, spouses have disputes about custody, visitation, and decision-making ability in regards to the children’s upbringing. In fact, cases involving children are generally the divorce proceedings that require the most time and attention.
Disputes regarding child support are often decided as a separate issue by the court.
Contested divorces can end up costing couples more money than the inherent value of their respective assets. In addition, children become resentful and often feel abandoned while their parents take the time to battle in court.
Children do much better when their parents work together to reach a resolution. In addition, the overall health of spouses involved in contested divorces is generally put in jeopardy because of the stress and constant disagreement.
It is also difficult for parents to work toward a joint effort in raising their children in the best manner possible when they were unable to come to agreements during the divorce.
Battles that result from divorce often carry over into their lives once the divorce has been granted.
Contested divorces often cause resentment for families that are already struggling with their new lives; couples that can take part in uncontested divorces, fair much better long term than couples who cannot reach a resolution on their own.