Jonesboro Attorneys

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

When you and your spouse decide that you no longer wish to stay married and want to pursue the legal route of getting a divorce, you will have two directions you can choose from: a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. While both of them eventually will lead to your marriage coming to an end and both have their pros and cons, an uncontested divorce is generally far less expensive and litigious than a contested divorce.

The major difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce lies in how it is filed with the state court system, and how it is filed is largely determined by negotiations before the petition is filed. If both you and your spouse are able to come to a complete mutual agreement on all major issues outside of court, then you are eligible to file for an uncontested divorce. So long as your judge approves of the terms of your agreement (meaning it is fair and not biased towards one spouse at the expense of the other), then they will sign the petition.

Why Choose an Uncontested Divorce?

There are obvious benefits to an uncontested divorce, the biggest of which being the efficiency with which a case comes to a conclusion. By finishing your divorce quickly, you save yourself a lot of time, stress, and a considerable amount of money since you will not need to pay for court fees, extended lawyer services, and numerous other expenses. Uncontested divorces also usually result in happier couples since they have managed to work out an agreement over all of the issues that are usually hotly contested ahead of time rather than have a judge give them a decision that may be surprising.

What are these major issues? They will vary depending on your unique situation, so no two divorce cases are alike. However, there are a few issues that are common in nearly every divorce, including:

  • Child custody
  • Alimony/spousal support
  • Visitation rights
  • Property division
  • Division of debts

If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on even one of these issues outside of court, then your case will need to be filed as a contested divorce and proceed to courtroom litigation. This requires scheduling a hearing and paying those costly court fees in order to get a resolution that ultimately neither party may be happy with.

If you are considering a divorce and you believe you and your spouse can work out an agreement out of court, it is strongly advised that you do so to help save yourself from the time, hassle, and emotional turmoil that a contested and highly-contentious contested divorce can bring. If you need assistance with negotiation or mediation sessions, the skilled Jonesboro family attorneys from Ford & Cook, PLC may be able to assist you. Our skilled lawyers can handle your case with an understanding of the impact it may have on your life, and represent your best interests no matter what route you decide to choose.

Call Ford & Cook, PLC today by dialing (870) 935-5400 and schedule a case evaluation with our team.