Divorcing is never easy, but disagreements over the division of property, custody arrangements, and spousal abuse may force you into a complicated contested divorce. Want to know more about what that means and why you or your spouse may choose that route? Keep reading.

Kasey Scharnett-King

Kasey Scharnett-King

Kasey Scharnett-King, LMFT at Lavender Healing Center, PLLC.

Contested Divorces Occur Due to Disagreements

A divorce that is contested is [one] where the couple does not agree on all terms. These terms could be centered around who keeps what property, how assets are divided, child custody, etc. The disagreement may even be [that] one party doesn’t want to divorce at all. Because matters cannot be amicably agreed on, a mediator and/or lawyer may be needed. The couple could end up in court where a judge decides. This process could prolong the marriage much longer than planned.

An uncontested divorce is a lot easier and less stressful. When a divorce is not contested, both parties agree on all the necessary topics needed to dissolve the marriage. In addition, divorce is uncontested when one partner does not respond to the divorce filing.

There are a few reasons why a spouse may contest the divorce:

One partner truly does not want to divorce, which can make it hard for the marriage to be dissolved. This partner may try to prolong the process as much as possible to find ways to keep the marriage. 80% of divorces are filed by women. So oftentimes, it is the male who does not want the marriage to dissolve.

Children are another reason why divorce may be contested. If the couple does not agree on child support, custody, insurance, etc., this could be the decision of the courts.

Lastly, finances can also be the cause of a contested divorce. The couple may not agree upon the division of assets, selling their home alimony, and even pension.

Sonya Schwartz

Sonya Schwartz

Sonya Schwartz, the founder of Her Norm.

Abusive Behavior and Parenting Disagreements

The main distinction between contested and uncontested divorce is in the agreement issues. An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree on the division of their assets after they have separated, whereas a contested divorce occurs when either party does not want a divorce or does not agree on the terms of the separation.

A spouse may contest a divorce for a variety of reasons. One is if they were in an abusive and cruel relationship in which their rights were severely violated. This includes both physical and financial consequences of poor treatment. Another example is if they disagree on parenting time allocation, in which case finances may be involved because child support involves money.

Jonathan Merry

Jonathan Merry

Jonathan Merry, VP, and Co-Founder of Banklesstimes.com.

Asset Concealment, Alimony, Abuse, or Unwillingness to Compromise

A contested divorce is one in which the partners do not agree on the terms of separation, such as whether they want to divorce and which parent should house the children. An uncontested divorce is a separation in which both spouses agree on terms of the divorce such as the division of assets and the decision to dissolve or end the marriage. Many divorces are typically contested.

Partners may contest a divorce for many reasons. The common reasons include asset concealment, acting in the best interest of the children, unwillingness to compromise the divorce terms, abusive marriages, and alimony.

Asset concealment means one partner feels they are not getting their fair share and some assets are hidden. Alimony is spousal maintenance, for sacrifices made for the marriage by a partner.

A partner may also contest a divorce due to unwillingness to compromise the terms. If the demands are unreasonable, unrealistic, and ill-willed, the divorce will be contested.

Finally, parents want the best for their children and may contest divorce to enhance better terms in child care.

In most cases, divorces are fueled by psychological and physical abuse. Abusive partners will object to divorce and try to interfere with proceedings.

Joseph Puglisi

Joseph Puglisi

Joseph Puglisi, Founder of Dating Iconic.

Insufficient Grounds For Divorce or Unfavorable Custody Arrangements

An uncontested divorce is one where both parties mutually consent to the divorce, the terms, division of property, custody of kids arrangements, and other things involved. A contested divorce is one where one party doesn’t consent to the divorce or one or more of the terms of separation involved.

A spouse can contest a divorce if they don’t have enough grounds for a divorce or the custody of the kids/allocation of resources aren’t favorable. An uncontested divorce is always cheaper, and time-saving. There are no constant court hearings over decision-making during the divorce.

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*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice. If you require legal advice, please contact a licensed attorney in your local area.