Understanding the Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce in Florida

Going through a divorce is always a challenging experience and one that will have a major impact on virtually every aspect of your life. When starting your divorce in Florida, you will need to determine whether you will have a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. Learning more about what each of these options are and how they will impact the entire divorce process is very important.

What is a Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce is what most people think of when they consider divorce. These are the types of divorces that are often represented on television shows and movies, with each party going to court to argue for what they want out of the divorce. To put it simply, when the two parties can’t come to an agreement on all of the essential items that a divorce must accomplish, a contested divorce is necessary. In these situations, the two parties will go in front of a judge and make their case on why their wishes should be honored. In most contested divorces, neither party is going to get everything they want as the judge will do what they can to come to a fair and just decision about how the marriage will end.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

In an uncontested divorce, the two parties will work together to decide how everything will be split up. They must be able to come to an agreement on things like the division of all their debts and assets, who will have the children at what times, any child support or spousal support payments, and more.

The parties will typically work with a mediator of some sort who will help to come up with compromises and solutions that will allow the two parties to agree on all these important aspects of the divorce. Once agreements are made, the attorneys will write up a marital settlement agreement and present it to the judge. In the vast majority of cases, the judge will approve the agreement and it will become the divorce order.

There are cases where the parties will agree to the terms of the divorce BEFORE filing for divorce. These cases are often much more resourceful financially and emotionally and typically the best route when there are children involved. Children deserve to see the two people they love the most unifying for their sake.

Which is Right for You?

Both contested and uncontested divorces have their place, and determining which is right for you will depend on what you want out of the divorce, as well as the temperament of your spouse. If it is at all possible to work with your spouse on the divorce, an uncontested divorce is a better option. It will cost you thousands of dollars less than a contested divorce, and it can be completed in a matter of weeks in many cases. If your spouse, however, is being unreasonable, then taking an aggressive approach in a contested divorce may be the best choice. Please contact us to schedule a consultation where we can sit down with you to determine what divorce strategy is right for you.

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