There are many methods of divorce, some of which are more complicated than others. Two specific types, contested and uncontested, differ based on the ability of both parties to reach an agreement. Below, we cover everything the basics of both contested and uncontested divorces to give you a sense of how these processes differ and which is most appropriate for your circumstances.

What is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce occurs when the two parties disagree on several major issues, including debts, child custody, division of property, and more. Some contested divorces occur because one spouse doesn’t want to get divorced, and thus refuses to play ball in negotiations. As such, particularly combative contested divorces often result in both spouses going to court and having a judge determine the final outcome.

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on all major issues. Since judges and lawyers don’t need to be involved in an uncontested divorce, the process usually goes much smoother. A previously contested divorce can become uncontested if both spouses decide to work out their issues outside the courtroom.

Differences between a contested and uncontested divorce

There are some major differences between uncontested and contested divorces. For one, finalizing an uncontested divorce is usually faster and more cost-effective. In most cases, an uncontested divorce will be the least expensive way to get divorced. Uncontested divorces are also a lot easier on families as they don’t involve frequent negotiation and court hearings. After an uncontested divorce, former couples are often able to maintain a good relationship, which is especially important when children are involved. Contested divorces, on the other hand, can cost both parties a lot of time and money. Some of the fees commonly involved in a contested divorce include attorney’s fees, court fees, and expert witness fees. On average, a contested divorce can cost over $10,000 in the United States.

How long does an uncontested divorce take?

The time it takes to finalize a contested or uncontested divorce can vary depending on several factors, including where both parties live. That said, contested divorces can take anywhere from six months to a year to finalize, while uncontested divorces may only take around six weeks. The court or a divorce attorney can often provide an estimate on the timeframe.

Can an uncontested divorce be reversed?

Couples cannot reverse their divorce after it’s been finalized. That said, there are some states in which a couple can reverse their divorce within a certain time frame, including Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, and Nebraska. 

It’s always best to have an experienced family law attorney on your side, especially when going through a contested divorce. At Michael Rosenblatt Family Law, we will work hard to advocate for you in and out of court.

For more information about getting a divorce in Louisiana, contact the Law Office of Michael A. Rosenblatt, LLC.

(504) 858-8218