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What is a contested divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2023 | divorce

You can go through a contested or uncontested divorce, and it can have a major impact on how the case plays out. An uncontested divorce tends to be faster, for instance, while your divorce may take extra time if it is a contested one.

But what does this mean exactly? People sometimes believe that it means the divorce might not be granted and that the outcome is in jeopardy for some reason. But don’t worry about this, because that’s not actually what this term refers to at all. With modern no-fault divorce laws, your divorce will be approved by the court.

So what does the court do?

What the court does is simply help you sort through all of the terms and find solutions to the issues that come up when you end a marriage. Those solutions are contested because you and your ex do not agree on what the terms should look like.

For example, perhaps you want to have sole custody of the children. Your ex also wants to have sole custody. The court likely prefers to give you joint custody that you share between the two of you. If you and your ex could agree on a solution in advance, it would be an uncontested divorce. But if you both are dedicated to fighting for sole custody, then the case has to go to court for an official order to be handed down. This is part of the reason why a contested divorce can take longer, but it is also sometimes necessary when the divorcing couple has a fundamental difference of opinion.

If you are going through a complicated divorce, you need to know about all of your legal options.