What are the Differences Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

What are the Differences Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

Divorces are often complex and tiring processes for couples. The proceedings require a lot of patience and decision making abilities to reach the necessary arrangements for a divorce. Depending on the way the spouses are able to handle the matters at hand, the proceedings may vary. Different types of divorce allow couples to work through these issues in a way that suits their personal situation. In the state of Pennsylvania, there are two main types of divorce: contested and uncontested. Spouses can benefit from an experienced attorney during this time to guide them throughout the process.

Contested Divorce

When spouses cannot reach agreements regarding their marital issues, it is known as a contested divorce. This is the case when neither spouse signs an agreement about the terms of their separation. This leaves these matters unsolved. When this happens, a judge takes over to make these decisions for the couple. This may include decisions about matters such as child support, custody, the division of assets, and alimony.

Before these proceedings begin, spouses must cite either “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. When no-fault grounds is cited, it means neither spouse wants to hold the other responsible for the end of their relationship. When fault grounds is cited, a spouse is looking to hold the other spouse responsible. This may be the 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 occurs when both spouses agree their marriage cannot be fixed and agree to the terms of their divorce. This is also known as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” In these situations, the couple must resolve all their marital issues before the proceedings start. This refers to matters such as alimony, child custody and support, parenting time, the division of assets, and any payment of debts.

In an uncontested divorce, the spouses have an opportunity to choose an alternative method of divorce if they want the process to occur outside of court. Alternatives methods may consist of mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce. These are voluntary processes, although they can be more beneficial than litigation for all parties involved.

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 Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today.

The divorce process can be challenging, but our team at Ilkhanoff & Silverstein are dedicated to fighting for your best interests. Since 1999, our York divorce lawyers have guided our clients through this emotional and stressful time with compassionate client service and results-driven legal counsel.

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