The Difference Between Contested & Uncontested Divorce

Getting a divorce is one of the most difficult decisions in a spouse’s life, especially the couple has been married for several years and children are involved. But before filing the petition, it is important to understand what to expect.

There are two main types of divorce: contested and uncontested. Although you don’t need to have a reason to file either one since New York is a no-fault divorce state, the circumstances of the situation dictate which type of divorce a couple is subject to.

In an uncontested divorce, both spouses can resolve their issues in an amicable and respectful manner and agree on every term (e.g. child custody, child support, alimony, property division, etc.) of the divorce agreement. Since the couple agrees on everything, there are no back-and-forth negotiations and court litigation.

By contrast, contested divorce involves dispute since both parties cannot agree on one or more issues. The legal process for a contested divorce includes preparing and serving documents, undergoing discovery, attending pre-trial court hearings, negotiating with lawyers, and perhaps going all the way to trial.

A contested divorce takes longer to resolve and a more expensive process compared to an uncontested divorce. While an uncontested divorce can take several weeks or a couple of months to resolve, a contested divorce can last years.

No matter what type of divorce you face, you must hire an experienced divorce attorney to guide you through the complexities of the legal process, while protecting your rights and best interests. In an uncontested divorce, a lawyer can help the couple finalize the divorce agreement to ensure errors aren’t made and file the agreement in court. In a contested divorce, he/she can obtain the most favorable outcome possible on behalf of the client.

For more information about divorce in Albany, contact O’Brien & Wood PLLC today at (518) 240-9992 and request a free case evaluation.