Difference Between Uncontested and Contested Divorce
There are Two Main Types Of Divorce That Attorneys Deal With
Everyone is at least somewhat familiar with the term divorce and that it marks the end of a marital relationship. What most people do not know is that there are different types of divorce which are dependent on the facts of a person’s individual case. For the purposes of this post we will begin with the simplest (and usually least costly) and progressively move up in levels of divorce that tend to me more complicated.
The Uncontested Divorce:
Many times divorce attorneys will be approached by married couples seeking to dissolve the marriage where all issues are agreed upon and there is not a single issue in contention. Both Husband and Wife know and agree as to exactly who gets the pots and pans and who gets the pillows and curtains.
In this situation, all an attorney will need to do is to is to draft all the documentation, get the parties’ signatures, and set the matter for a final hearing of dissolution. In this case the most time consuming aspects for the attorney are the drafting of documents and the communication needed to get both sides cooperation in signing all relevant documentation.
The biggest issues with uncontested divorces are the fact that the parties may begin the process on an uncontested basis and begin to disagree on certain issues along the way. This can certainly lead to increased legal fees for the client as well as litigation. Additionally, many parties to divorce will allow themselves to be taken advantage of because they hold out an unrealistic hope of doing it “uncontested” and trying to save a few dollars. An Orlando uncontested divorce attorney can guide you through the steps of an uncontested divorce.
The Contested Divorce:
Building on the work described above, the contested divorce occurs when the parties seeking a divorce are in disagreement on any issue to the case. Some examples of often contested issues are: alimony, division of assets, use of marital home, child custody, payment of attorney’s fees, and child support to name only a few.
In most jurisdictions parties to a contested divorce will also have to exchange a certain amount of financial discovery, as set forth in the Florida statute, such as recent tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and more. This allows the court and the attorneys to get an accurate snap shot of each party’s financial posture on order to properly figure things such as support payments and/or division of assets.
After the parties complete this process of financial discovery, most circuits will require them to attend mediation before they can set any non-emergency maters for hearings that would require any testimony. If the parties are not able to settle their disputed issues at mediation then they can do additional discovery and set the matter for trial in front of the divorce judge.