Contested & Uncontested Divorce
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Sometimes two married individuals simply grow apart and choose to dissolve their marriage without any conflict. When the divorcing couple is in agreement regarding all factors and there are no remaining disputes, the situation is referred to as an uncontested divorce, or Simple Absolute Divorce. If this is the case, assuming service is not an issue, the process is fairly straight forward and you likely won’t need to attend the court hearing to finalize your divorce.
Even though this matter might seem straightforward, it is possible that disputes may arise where none were expected. In addition, there certain rights that you may be entitled to receive, such as Post Separation Support, Alimony and/or Equitable Distribution, which you would waive if you failed to have a claim for said rights pending at the time your divorce decree is entered by the Court. It is wise to have a skilled attorney on your side in case such a situation occurs.
However, if there is a conflict and/or disagreement with regard to the dissolution of the marriage, it typically involves matters of equitable distribution, post separation support or alimony. If there is a dispute as to these matters, including a possible dispute over the date of separation, this would be considered a “Contested Divorce”. If these matters cannot be resolved prior to the entry of your divorce decree, you must file suit for these rights before the Court enters your divorce decree/judgment. The litigation that surrounds a “Contested Divorce” typically refers to the battle over marital assets, debts and some form of spousal support; all of which will have a significant impact on your life, most importantly, your future.