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Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce: What’s the Difference?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued data reporting that in the past decade the divorce rate in Florida has hovered between 40-50%.

These numbers may not come as a surprise; however, the statistics speak to the fact that almost half of all marriages in Florida – in fact, throughout the United States – will end in divorce. There are many scenarios and extenuating circumstances that can result in divorce and the specifics of each case will determine how the dissolution of the marriage will be brought about. Generally, a splitting couple can go down one of two routes during their divorce process: contested or uncontested divorce.

The dissolution of a marriage is most often accomplished through no contest. This is the quickest and least painful way in which to cease your wedding vows, as it implies that each side of the splitting party was able to mutually come to some form of agreement regarding the stipulations of the divorce. Any time that two people decide they would be better off separate than together and choose to dissolve their marriage, certain issues will need to be brought to their attention before the process can be legally completed. Matters of spousal support (alimony), division of property and assets, and child custody and support issues will all need to be agreed upon by each person before their divorce can be finalized.

When the need to establish these types of terms comes into play, it can go one of two ways. Either the couple will ultimately come to some sort of agreement on how they want to divide their property and split the time spent with their children or they will engage in contested debates on what to do without being able to mutually agree on their own.

Uncontested divorces are those which are reached without being taken to court. Most often, each party of a divorcing couple will take the time needed to weigh the pros and cons of every scenario and how it will affect their future. Then they will mutually agree on the specific terms and conditions that will be legally established and enforced. This is the most amicable way to end a marriage, and it is also the fastest because it does not require that the case be taken to court.

While no contest is clearly the more desirable option, it will not realistically work for all divorcing couples. Especially in cases of high-net worth divorce when there is a lot of property and assets that need to be accounted for, heated arguments and contested debates on how the split will affect an individual’s personal belongings can ensue. Even in cases that are not of a high net worth, child custody and alimony issues may arise that are unable to be agreed upon by the couple. In any instances such as those described above, the only way to put an end to the disagreements and finally conclude the divorce process is by taking the matter to court and letting someone else make the ultimate determination for you.

No one wants to be told how to end their marriage or what their future will look like as a result, so for almost everyone an uncontested divorce is the ideal choice. However, no matter which avenue you ultimately go down, a family law attorney will need to be by your side to ensure that the process is completed according to all legal stipulations. Whether your divorce if one of contest or not, the support and comfort that a legal professional can provide to you during this difficult time could make all the difference in the outcome of your case.

Additional resources provided by the author

The Davis Law Group is a husband and wife team of practicing attorneys in all matters of family law and divorce. As certified Family Law Mediators by the Florida Supreme Court, both Scott and Kendra Davis are experts in their field of practice. They have successfully represented cases throughout west central Florida, helping one client after the next to achieve the desired outcome of their divorce case. The team exemplifies the special knowledge and skill required of such state recognition and their professionalism and ethical practices further back up their highly praised accolades. Whether you are in need of family law advice or an aggressive divorce lawyer, you can find what you’re looking for at The Davis Law Group. Contact a Tampa family lawyer from the firm at 866-874-7165.

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