What are the Differences Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

What are the Differences Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

Divorces can often be a very difficult and exhausting process for families. It requires a great amount of patience and responsibility from both spouses in order to determine the necessary arrangements for a divorce. Divorce proceedings may vary depending on whether or not spouses can come to an agreement on their marital issues. Different types of divorce allow couples to work through the matters at hand in a way that fits their personal situation. In Pennsylvania, there are two main types of divorce: contested divorce and uncontested divorce. If you are going through a divorce, an experienced attorney can guide you through these proceedings.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is when both spouses cannot come to an agreement on their marital issues. In this situation, neither spouse signs an agreement on their terms of separation. This leaves these matters unsolved. In the event of this, a judge is then given the right to make the decisions in order to resolve the couple’s disagreements. This may include matters regarding issues such as child support, custody, the division of assets, and alimony.

In a contested divorce, a spouse is able to cite either “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. When no-fault grounds is cited, neither spouse holds the other responsible for the end of their marriage. When this happens, the proceedings can begin. When a spouse cites fault grounds, it means they are holding the other spouse responsible for the divorce. This may be due to one of the following situations:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Non-support
  • Cruel and abusive treatment
  • Bigamy
  • Incarceration for 2 years or more
  • Habitual intoxication or drug addiction

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is when both spouses believe their marriage is unfixable and they agree to the separation terms of their divorce. This is also known as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” In the event of this, a couple must resolve all marital issues. This pertains to issues such as alimony, child custody and support, parenting time, division of assets, and any payment of debts.

In the event that a divorce is uncontested, the spouses can choose an alternative method of divorce as opposed to litigation. This may be mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce. These are all voluntary, although they are usually beneficial for all parties involved in the divorce.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce and wishes to seek legal counsel,

Anderson, Converse & Fennick is an experienced law firm in York County, Pennsylvania focusing on Education Law, Family Law, Estate Planning, and Civil Litigation matters. If you need a knowledgeable attorney that will effectively represent your interests, contact Anderson, Converse & Fennick today.

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