Divorce Contested v. Uncontested

Divorce cases can be simple, meaning the parties to the divorce do not have minor children and very few assets. Divorce cases can also be more complex, meaning the case involves minor children, division of substantial assets, alimony and child support. Whether the divorce is simple or complex, the divorcing couple may be able to resolve the issues through a negotiated settlement. When this occurs, divorce lawyers often refer to this as an uncontested divorce. Alternatively, when the divorcing couple cannot reach a settlement, the court must intervene. This is often referred to as a contested divorce.


The preferred option is an uncontested divorce because of its advantages. When the parties are able to settle their differences by agreement, the divorce process is usually quicker and less costly to both parties. The couple does not have to be amicable towards one another in order to negotiate and agree on the various matters. They just have to be practical. By taking the emotion out of the equation, divorcing couples can realize that it is better to set aside the feelings and circumstances that lead to the desire for a marriage dissolution. They can make calculated decisions that are in the best interests of their children, their finances and themselves.


If the parties cannot resolve the issues by agreement, then Pennsylvania and local laws will provide them with access to the legal system to determine the unresolved matters. This is less desirable because the legal system can take time. The divorcing couple will each need a divorce lawyer to help them navigate through the process and to help them make important decisions along the way. Contested divorces often result in higher costs and legal fees. It is common for amicable parties to a divorce to have a contested divorce because they have a genuine disagreement about a very important issue. For example, in high net worth divorces, the parties may have a different opinion as to whether a party is entitled to alimony or a higher percentage of the assets.


Parties to a divorce should always hire a divorce lawyer for representation throughout the process, whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. If the divorce is uncontested, it is extremely important for the parties to sign a property settlement agreement, custody agreement, or support agreement. As with any contract, the settlement between the parties should be comprehensive and detailed enough to avoid future misunderstandings or conflict. A divorce lawyer can draft the necessary agreements to make sure that the agreements are legal. For contested divorces, a divorce lawyer can not only help the client navigate through the process and make decisions, but the divorce lawyer can prepare a case for trial to increase the likelihood of success. Divorce lawyers know what evidence needs to be submitted in order to prove their side of the case.


The divorce lawyers at The Martin Law Firm have experience representing men and women in contested divorce proceedings and uncontested divorce proceedings. Contact us today to have a lawyer evaluate your case at 215-687-4053.