• calendar12th Feb 23 10:00 pm
  • userJamie

Contested Vs. Uncontested Divorce

At the beginning of a marriage, the goal is usually for two people to live a long life together. However, things don’t always work out as expected, and there can be many reasons for the dissolution of a marriage. When a couple determines that the best solution to their marital woes is to divorce, the path forward may not be easy. Some divorces resolve much more quickly and with less stress and emotional toll than others. Whether a contested vs. uncontested divorce, the process will have the same result: the termination of a marriage. However, the steps in the process can look and feel very different for a divorce that is contested compared to one that is uncontested. If you are contemplating a divorce in Colorado, consider contacting an experienced attorney at the Colorado Divorce Law Group by calling (720) 593-6442 to schedule a consultation.

Decisions That Must Be Addressed in Divorce

Divorce happens when a legal and sanctioned union, a marriage, is terminated. To come to that end, both parties in a marriage must work out several issues. Because many aspects of life become intertwined during marriage, when a marriage breaks up and the former partners part ways, it becomes necessary to separate what had previously been shared. Depending on the details of a marriage, the decisions that must be made by each couple can vary.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2020, the population of the United States was over 329 million people. There were 1,676,911 marriages with 630,505 divorces that year. Each of these divorcing couples had to figure out how to part ways effectively while preserving their individual interests. Some common determinations that a divorcing couple may have to make during the divorce process can include:

  • Child support for couples with children
  • Child custody and visitation schedules for couples with children
  • Asset division
  • Spousal support
  • Debt division
  • Distribution of marital property

Uncontested Divorce

Some issues that must be worked out during the divorce process are more significant than others. This means that there could be a lot of contention regarding very critical matters like finances and child custody. When a couple can come to terms with each other and be cooperative, agreeing on many of the big issues, the divorce can be considered uncontested.

There are many benefits to an uncontested divorce. Most of the benefits come from the fact that an uncontested divorce can often come to a resolution much more quickly than when the spouses cannot come to an agreement. The emotional toll and the total cost of a divorce may be reduced. Uncontested divorces generally allow a couple to determine the terms of the dissolution without the need to appear in court, which can save both partners time and the expense of court costs and associated legal fees.

Contested Divorce

By contrast, a contested divorce occurs when the major issues of the marriage cannot be resolved by the spouses. Objections and opposition can lengthen the time it takes to dissolve a marriage and increase the overall costs. In some instances, the terms of a divorce cannot be agreed to because of stark differences in point of view. Other times, animosity and feelings of retribution can be the reason a divorce is contested. A contested divorce will rely heavily on the court to reach of resolution.

A contested divorce does not always need to take a long time to reach a final decree. As each party addresses the various issues, the former partners may engage in mutually beneficial negotiation. Under these circumstances, a divorce that was initially contested could turn into an uncontested divorce.

Appealing a Contested Divorce

The differences with contested vs. uncontested divorce also affect the parties’ ability to change the outcome. When the court resolves a contested divorce, the parties involved can appeal the decision in some situations, whereas the parties of a marriage dissolved through an uncontested divorce will not have this recourse. An uncontested divorce is not subject to appeal through the court system because the parties involved typically come to terms together and agree on the issues. When both parties are in agreement while going through divorce, the resolution will be as favorable as possible for each, and the assumption is that the former spouses are satisfied with their settlement.

Due to the fact that the court determines the final outcome in a contested divorce, an appeal for legal redress through the judicial system may be possible. There must be certain grounds for an appeal to be filed and for it to be successful. Simply being upset about the outcome is no guarantee of reversing the court’s decision through an appeal. Knowing whether it makes sense to appeal and what grounds can be cited is important. A family lawyer at the Colorado Divorce Law Group will understand the various aspects of the divorce process, including appeals, and may be able to help navigate the process.

Can One Spouse Prevent a Divorce?

Ideally, when facing divorce, a couple may have the best experience if they can come together in good faith, be amicable with each other, and dissolve the marriage quickly so they go their separate ways. However, due to the emotional nature of marriage and divorce, there are many situations in which even the simplest decisions can be incredibly difficult to work through. This is especially true if one spouse does not want the divorce and fights it.

One spouse may change his or her mind about getting a divorce. In fact, the party who initially wanted a divorce may decide that he or she no longer wants to end the marriage. If one party wants a divorce but the partner does not, however, that resistance is not likely to prevent an impending divorce from happening. The resistance simply translates to a contested divorce, which generally involves a more difficult process that is more burdensome for both former spouses.

Contact a Colorado Divorce Lawyer Today

Even with the best conditions and when a couple is on the most cordial terms, divorce can be challenging. According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, multiple studies examine the emotional nature of divorce in relation to the resilience of couples who go through divorce proceedings. Due to the potentially negative impacts of prolonged uncertainty and heightened emotional states, many people seek help from a divorce attorney. The path to severance in contested vs. uncontested divorce may look different, but the result of each is the same. A marriage will be ended. If you are approaching a divorce in Colorado and would like to discuss your next steps toward an independent future, consider calling an experienced lawyer from the Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442 to schedule a confidential consultation