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Why would you choose a contested divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2023 | Divorce

There are basically only two ways for a divorce to proceed: It can either be uncontested or contested. However, those phrases may not mean exactly what you think.

When a divorce is uncontested, that merely means that you and your spouse are willing to agree to all major issues, including child custody, support and the division of your personal property. A contested divorce is one where you cannot, so that means moving to litigation.

Uncontested divorces are often encouraged (and desired) because they’re typically faster and less expensive, since they require minimal court involvement. However, they’re not right for every situation.

When is a contested divorce sometimes the best choice?

Even couples who can’t be in the same room together without fighting can sometimes hammer out agreements through their representation. However, litigation may be your only viable option when:

  • ● Your spouse has been abusive and you believe that they are using the negotiation process to continue to manipulate or control you.
  • ● Your spouse is simply unwilling to even give negotiation a try, or constantly agrees to something and then changes their mind, throwing everything back to the beginning.
  • ● You have serious concerns that your spouse is not being transparent about their finances or property in order to cheat you out of fair divison of the marital property.
  • ● You have genuine concerns about your spouse’s parenting skills and want to seek full custody, especially if they have a substance abuse problem.
  • ● You and your spouse have complex assets and you and your spouse cannot agree on their value.

Keep in mind, contesting a divorce can slow the whole process down – but that may not be much of a concern if you already know your spouse will try to cheat you or you’ve already given negotiation a try and it’s clear your spouse isn’t really acting in good faith.

If you’re contemplating a divorce, it won’t take long before you start encountering all kinds of new words and legal terminology. Spend some time getting as familiar as possible with the language being used so that you can make informed decisions as you proceed.

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