Every family is unique, yet there are particular issues common to most divorces. These common issues include, but are not limited to, time sharing with minor children, equitable distribution of assets and liabilities, and alimony or spousal support.
When parties disagree on one or more of these issues, a case is considered “contested,” and in all likelihood the outcome will be determined in court by a Judge, unless the parties can settle their differences at mediation.
There are many ways a divorce can be considered “contested.” For example, one party may make a claim for property or spousal support while the other does not agree. The valuation of a significant marital asset may be in dispute, or parents may fight over custody of minor children.
The cost of a contested divorce can vary depending on the amount of conflict. The procedure usually begins with the filing of a lawsuit and many times a counter lawsuit. This is followed by exchange of financial information between the parties, and then the parties attend mediation. If the issues in dispute cannot be solved at mediation, the parties go to trial where a Judge makes a determination as to the disputed matters.
All divorces are not created equally, and contrary to popular belief, two people can agree on all issues pertaining to their divorce.
The most common issues parties must agree on for a divorce to be uncontested include but are not limited to timesharing or custody with minor children, division of assets and liabilities, spousal support or alimony, and child support. In an uncontested divorce, parties are in complete agreement and have settled all of these issues.
Where parties have reached this agreement at the outset, the traditional steps taken in a contested divorce are not necessary. An experienced attorney can draft the agreement in writing in accordance with Florida law, and complete the necessary documents to be filed with the court. An uncontested matter is more likely to resolve itself amicably and quickly, whereas a contested matter can take months, or even years to complete. Because of this streamlined process, an uncontested divorce can be cost effective, saving parties thousands of dollars in the long run.
Our experienced attorneys are here to help if you have questions regarding whether your divorce is uncontested. It is important to note that even where the case is uncontested, one attorney cannot represent both parties in a divorce, rather they represent one side. Our office handles uncontested divorces on a regular basis, therefore we have devised a procedure whereby it is very easy for the other spouse to understand and participate in the process.