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

When it comes to divorce, Florida is a ‘no-fault’ state. This means that either party can begin the divorce process without providing a reason. However, issues can arise if there is a disagreement on whether the divorce should occur in the first place.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is when both parties agree on all important issues affecting life after the marriage is dissolved. These issues often include:

  • child support;
  • child custody; and/or
  • spousal support.

If both parties have worked out these issues, they may not even need to have their case heard before a court and the process could be quick and easy. This is because most of the problems that delay a divorce decision are due to the factors mentioned above and the parties’ inability to agree on terms.

If both parties agree on the terms of their divorce, they can seek the guidance of an uncontested divorce attorney to complete the process.

Contested Divorce

As the name suggests, a contested divorce is when both parties do not agree on the terms of their divorce. The proceedings can be lengthy and begin with one party submitting a Petition for Divorce to a county court.

Once the petition is filed,

  • the other party must file a response within 20 days of the filing;
  • the proceedings move into the ‘discovery’ phase, where each party submits evidence to back up their claims;
  • the court resolves any temporary issues that need a swift resolution (temporary child support, temporary spousal support, attorney fees, and/or emergency relief);
  • attempts to negotiate or mediate the proceedings to a conclusion are made; and
  • if the negotiations fail, the proceedings move to a trial where a judge will decide upon the key divorce issues.

Passionate Divorce Attorneys

Whether you are pursuing a contested or uncontested divorce, our attorneys will do everything we can to ensure your rights and opinions are upheld. We will fight for the best outcome for all parties involved.

Call our firm today at (727) 245-9009 or contact us online for your case evaluation.