Divorce is never an easy thing. It’s an emotional, draining, scary, frustrating and challenging event in anyone’s life. If you’re thinking about getting a divorce or are beginning the process of undergoing one, the more information you have, the more comfortable you’ll be during this difficult time in your life. Knowing your options will allow you to do what’s best for you and your family so that you can get passed this time of your life and move on.
Before you meet with your Chandler divorce lawyer, it’s good to know about the different types of divorces. That way you’ll better understand what your lawyer will explain to you in more depth. There are two types of divorce cases: contested and uncontested.
Both are complex, but the real difference between the two is the ability for both parties to come to an agreement on all aspects of the case. If the two spouses can’t agree on the terms of the divorce, the case will have to go to court and it could be a lengthy battle.
However, both uncontested and contested divorces have their own advantages and disadvantages and choosing one over the other will ultimately depend on the type of relationship you have with your ex-partner if you have children and assets that are shared.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce Case?
Typically, an uncontested divorce case is one where both parties can come to terms on an agreement on all aspects of their divorce, including the kids, property, assets and more. Usually, uncontested divorce cases are amicable and are shorts. Individuals filing for an uncontested divorce need to so on “No-Fault” grounds in legal terms “in-supportability.”
This just means that the marriage has broken down because the two parties are incompatible with one another and neither have the expectation of reconciling again.
In order for an uncontested divorce case to be successful, both parties much agree on all child custody matters and marital assets and debts. The parties must agree to matters relating to shared parenting and the split of all debts, assets, and property. They must also voluntarily sign all necessary paperwork and documents without any hostile arguments, too.
Given the ease of an uncontested divorce case, it’s acceptable to file without the need for legal representation. However, it’s not advised as both parties can easily overlook very important aspects of their particular divorce case and situation.
This can then result in an unenforceable divorce by the court. It’s better to have a Chandler divorce attorney by your side during an uncontested divorce case to ease the process and make sure everything is correct so that you don’t run into any difficulties later on. Having representation will make the entire divorce process seamless, so you now have one less than to worry about during this important transition of your life.
What Is A Contested Divorce Case?
Sometimes, divorce cases are so amicable. Usually, when things get ugly, spouses won’t come to see eye-to-eye on various divorce terms, which leads to a contested divorce. You’ll definitely want to seek representation from a Chandler divorce lawyer for a contested divorce case.
When spouses can’t agree on the divorce settlement, the case is now considered to be a contested divorce that requires a reputable and skilled attorney. Contested divorce cases usually require mediation, arbitration and can possibly go to trial. They are a lot longer than an uncontested divorce and can become very complex, especially with child custody battles, large marital estates and complex division of property and more.
There are numerous proceedings and steps that spouses will go through in a contested divorce. While there’s no exact timeframe, these divorces can drag on for months at a time before it’s all finalized. Steps that parties complete before the divorce is finalized include filing all the legal paperwork, serving the papers to the appropriate parties, court-ordered mediation before hearing or a temporary orders hearing and then counterpetition/responding.
From there, you’ll go through the discovery process, pre-trial hearings and motions, negotiations or mediation and finally the trial. If applicable, you might be able to appeal the final decision on your contested divorce case if the outcome is not in your favor or what you initially wanted.
It’s not uncommon for a divorce to start out as uncontested, but as things progress and the two spouses can’t agree on terms, the case can easily escalate to a contested divorce case.
Common reasons why divorce would be contested include:
- A spouse hiding assets
- A combative divorce where spouses can’t work amicably together to separate
- A dishonest spouse
- A cheating spouse with proof of infidelity
- A spouse lying about finances
- Auguring over the division of property
- Conflicting views on parenting and child support or custody
- An abusive marriage
- The simple fact that spouses can’t communicate effectively during the divorce process
While many want to know how long a contested divorce will last, the truth is that it’s hard to say. The entire process can take a few months to even as long as a few years in really complex contested divorce cases. But usually, the more the spouses can agree and cooperate on various matters, the smoother and faster the entire contested divorce will go.
Because divorce can be a challenging event, it’s better to seek legal advice and representation from a Chandler divorce lawyer. A knowledgeable divorce attorney will be able to safely help and guide you through a contested or uncontested divorce.
Everything from the initial documents you’ll need for your consultation to working on all the court orders and more, a Chandler divorce attorney will help you throughout your entire case. Give us a call today at (480) 470-3030.