Divorce has two distinct faces or, rather, types: a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce.
A contested divorce is a divorce where both parties can’t come to any type of agreement. This applies to when they can’t agree about the terms of the divorce (asset division, debt allocation, alimony, child support, etc) or even about getting divorced in the first place, you’ll have to hire a Tampa lawyer in this case.
An uncontested divorce is the opposite. In this case, both parties agree on everything they need to do to carry out the divorce. They usually don’t need court intervention for asset division, alimony or child support/custody. In other words, these divorces end faster and place less of a financial and emotional burden on both parties.
Contested or uncontested?
Most divorces start contested, as in the process starts as a contested divorce would. Before actual divorce trial, both parties should reach an agreement on the financial terms and other terms regarding the divorce. This is otherwise known as a settlement. Both spouses typically don’t appeal the settlement, since they usually agree with the terms of the settlement—hence, the point of the process. The fact that both spouses agree to settle, and usually without legal intervention, makes their divorce an uncontested one.
Lawyers and judges typically side with uncontested divorces for that reason. Though, if the divorce does remain contested, it’s the job of both lawyers (for each party) to come up with a way to make both parties settle.
On an interesting note, changes to the economy have made divorcing parties handle their own divorces. Most of these successful settlements are the result of uncontested divorces completed without the aid of hiring a lawyer. This type of divorce settlement is great for parties who have amicably resolved their differences and want to complete the divorce as soon as possible.
If the divorce remains contested (and both parties can’t come to an agreement), legal intervention is required to make a proper settlement. It’s highly advised to hire a lawyer for a contested divorce. Not only can they help walk you through the process, but it’s absolutely not recommended to represent yourself in a contested divorce, due to the legal complexities and emotional stakes.
Most, if not all, divorcing parties want an uncontested divorce. Some of those parties end up dealing with contested divorces. It’s up to you to work with your spouse to come to an agreement and