Choosing Your Divorce Type
Contested or Uncontested Divorce?
Choosing What's Right For You
A divorce is never easy. It is one of the most impactful and overwhelming events a person may ever go through. There are a multitude of questions a married couple must address. What are we going to do with the debt accrued during the marriage? Who is going to reside in the marital home? Will we keep our own retirement accounts? Who will the children live with? Who is going to pay for ballet class? Where is the family dog going to live? No two divorces are ever the same. Each couple’s marriage has a different dynamic and circumstances. Some marriages last a short period of time, while others last decades.
A divorce can take one of two routes: contested or uncontested. A contested divorce arises when the married couple is not agreeable on all the issues such as financial assets or liabilities or child custody and support. In contrast, in an uncontested divorce, the married couple are both in agreeance to all the issues. Although there may be a wide array of assets or several children of the marriage, the couple agrees on how such issues will be addressed or allocated.
Like a contested divorce, an uncontested divorce begins with the filing of a Summons with Notice in the County Clerk’s office. If the parties have agreed on all the terms, a Settlement Agreement can be prepared. Our firm will sit down with you and make sure we discuss all finances and matters involving the children of the marriage specific to your case. Our firm will prepare this Settlement Agreement including yours and your spouse’s wishes. Our firm will then mail the filed Summons with Notice and proposed Settlement Agreement to your spouse. Your spouse will then sign a document referred to as a Defendant’s Affidavit, which is proof they will not be contesting the divorce. In addition, your spouse will sign the proposed Settlement Agreement. This Settlement Agreement will then be incorporated into your final Judgment of Divorce. Our firm will prepare several documents, which are submitted to the Judge to be signed and then filed in the County Clerk’s Office.
One may ask, what are the benefits of an uncontested divorce? Uncontested divorces are often faster to complete from start to finish. Taking the uncontested route means neither spouse must step into a courtroom. For those who are not attorneys, a courtroom may seem daunting and overwhelming. Additionally, an uncontested saves the couple money. A contested divorce may require several court appearances, expert testimony, or motions and pleadings. An uncontested divorce allows the couple to have more control over the terms that will bind you. A contested divorce may end with a Judge deciding these terms. This Judge may not know the unique needs and issues of your family. Often neither spouse is happy with the Judge’s final decision.
At Bouvier Law, LLP, we want to take the time to understand your needs and concerns and how we can achieve the best result for you and your spouse. You deserve to be well informed of your legal rights and obligations. We aim to put all your worries to ease as we guide you through the entire divorce process from the date of filing to the date your divorce is finalized while keeping you informed every step of the process.