Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce: Which Is Best for You?
If you’ve recently discovered that you need to file for divorce from your spouse, you likely have a million thoughts swirling around in your head. One of the most important things you’ll need to determine up front is if you think you’ll have a contested or uncontested divorce since this will affect the steps you’ll need to take in the coming weeks and months.
To speak with an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney about a contested vs. non-contested divorce, reach out to the offices of E. Gordon Peters, Jr., Attorney at Law. With two office locations in Lynchburg and Blackstone, Virginia, Attorney Gordon Peters can also serve clients in Amherst County, Campbell County, Bedford County, Nottoway County, Prince Edward County, and Charlotte County.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
Essentially, an uncontested divorce means that both spouses agree that a divorce is necessary and agree on all the issues, such as asset division, alimony, and child custody and support. In most cases, this is an amicable divorce in which the two spouses are still able to communicate with one another, and though there may be some disagreements, they’re able to work them out together.
It’s possible to complete an uncontested divorce on your own, but most people find it necessary to either consult with an attorney or work with a mediator to help guide the conversation and keep it focused on the task at hand. Importantly, both spouses must be willing to work together to come to a joint agreement, even with the help of a mediator. The mediator will not take sides and will not make decisions on your behalf. Either way, you’ll need to write up your divorce settlement agreement and submit it to a judge for final approval. In most cases, if you’ve followed all the court’s directions and the agreement seems fair, it will be approved.
What is a Contested Divorce?
In a contested divorce, one spouse disagrees with the other about one or more issues. In this type of divorce, both spouses typically hire their own divorce attorney to represent their interests and negotiate on their behalf. This negotiation is typically done between the two lawyers if the couple is unable to communicate well. If your attorneys aren’t able to come to an agreement for you, your case will be brought to court where they’ll argue your side in front of a judge. The judge will then be the one to make the final decision on the contested issues.
Which One is Right for Me?
If you’re committed to a divorce without going to court, you’ll want an uncontested divorce. This type of divorce is ideal for couples who are on generally good speaking terms, wish to save money on attorney fees, or have relatively uncomplicated lives (for example, you don’t have any children together and have very few joint assets). However, even if you choose to pursue an uncontested divorce you’ll still most likely have to seek legal assistance. Many divorcing couples choose to settle issues on their own, then consult individually with an attorney to review what they decided and ensure that the choices they made are in their best interests and they haven’t neglected to address anything.
For other couples, a contested divorce is inevitable. And, if this is the case for you, the sooner you start working with an attorney, the better. This is a more costly route, and contested divorces tend to take longer, but you can expedite this process by clearly communicating your wishes and priorities with your attorney so they can make the best use of your time and money.
Skilled Divorce Counsel: E. Gordon Peters, Jr., Attorney at Law
If you’re in the Lynchburg or Blackstone, Virginia, area and would like to discuss your options for divorce, call E. Gordon Peters, Jr., Attorney at Law, today to get started. Attorney Gordon Peters can assist you toward a brighter future during these challenging times. Also, he has the practice, knowledge, and experience to lead you in the direction that focuses on your best interests.