What is the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

What is the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

Divorces often present difficult times for spouses and their families. The process requires a great deal of time and effort to reach the necessary decisions to arrange life after a divorce. The way these processes are handled can vary depending on how spouses are able to handle the situation at hand. Different types of divorces exist to cater to the situations of each couple. In the state of Alabama, there are two main types of divorce: contested and uncontested divorces. An experienced attorney can help spouses during this time to guide them through the process.

Contested Divorce

Situations in which spouses cannot agree to the terms of their separation are known as contested divorces. This is the case when neither spouse signs an agreement regarding their marital issues, leaving these matters unsolved. When this happens, a judge steps in to make these decisions for the couple to settle their disagreements. This may include decisions about issues such as child support, custody, the division of assets, and alimony.

Before the divorce proceedings begin, spouses must cite either “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. When no-fault grounds is cited, it means neither spouse wishes to hold the other responsible for the end of their marriage. When a spouse cites fault grounds, it means they do want to hold the other spouse responsible. This may a result of one of the following situations:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Non-support
  • Impotence
  • Imprisonment for 5 years or more
  • Gross habits of intoxication
  • Cruel and abusive treatment

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce happens when both spouses agree their marriage cannot be fixed. This is the case when they can both settle their marital issues together. This is also known as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” For a divorce to be uncontested, a couple must resolve their marital issues before the process can begin. This also refers to matters such as alimony, child custody and support, parenting time, division of assets, and any payment of debts.

When a couple’s divorce is uncontested, the spouses have an opportunity to choose an alternative method of divorce. This typically happens when the spouses do not want to go through the proceedings in court. Alternatives methods may include mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce. These are voluntary processes that can be beneficial for all parties involved in the proceedings.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce and wishes to seek legal counsel, contact the Law Offices of Stone Crosby, P.C. today.

Stone Crosby, P.C. has proudly served clients in Alabama for over 100 years. Our firm has experience handling matters including divorce and family law, estate planning and administration, business law, employment law, class actions, consumer protection, business law, real estate law, among many others. If you require quality legal representation, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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