Despite going into a marriage with the best of intentions, sometimes divorce is inevitable and the overall best option for all parties. However, just because it’s the best option doesn’t mean that it will be easy. In the United States, grounds for divorce are separated into two main categories: contested and uncontested. Oftentimes the difference between the two is the amiability between partners and how well they can come together to dissolve their marriage and divide their assets.
Contested divorce is by far the most painful, expensive, and emotionally taxing. This occurs when the two parties cannot come to an agreement about any number of things concerning the separation of their union–this can include finances, child custody, property, etc. When this occurs, the divorce must be heard by the court and ultimately the judge decides the outcome of the division of marital assets.
According to Holmes, Diggs, Eames & Sadler, in cases like this couples have options. Mediated divorces can be extremely beneficial in order to avoid unknown or arbitrary settlements. The two parties employ the assistance, advice, and resources of a third party in order to reach an arrangement that is universally beneficial and does not favor one client over the other. Similarly, in a collaborative divorce, the two parties use their attorneys to assist them in making informed and professionally supported decisions. While these attorneys cannot further represent their clients in the court, the process of collaboration usually facilitates better communication between the two parties and allows them to approach an uncontested divorce settlement to present to the judge.
Uncontested divorces are infinitely easier due to the fact that the two parties come to court with a pre-agreed upon proposal for the separation of property, finances, and child care. In certain cases, couples are eligible for a simplified divorce, also known as a “simple divorce” or “summary divorce.” This allows couples who meet various criteria–including less than five years of marriage, an absence of children, and limited property and financial assets–to easily and inexpensively end a marriage.Read More