Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
Divorce is never easy. In addition to the emotional impact involved, there are issues related to money, property, and children that must be resolved before the divorce can be finalized. In an uncontested divorce, the couple is in general agreement on getting the divorce and on the terms. In a contested divorce case, there are additional court proceedings and generally more complex negotiations involved.
Issues in Uncontested Divorce Cases
The issues in an Uncontested Divorce and a Contest Divorce are exactly the same. They are as follows:
- Marital property and asset division: All property earned or accumulated over the course of the marriage must be divided on an equitable basis.
- Spousal support: If one of the spouses makes considerably less than the other or sacrificed his or her own career for the sake of the marriage, that spouse may be entitled to spousal support.
- Child custody and child support: If there are children, the parents will need to divide parenting responsibilities, as well as provide for the support of their children.
The Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce
Since the issues are the same, you may ask what is the difference. The difference is the procedure. For example:
- In a contested divorce, one spouse has the other party served a complaint for divorce by the County Sheriff. In an uncontested divorce, one spouse signs an Acknowledgment of Service thus avoiding the need to get the Sheriff’s Department involved.
- In a contested divorce case, the parties will have to complete Discovery, which is the process by which the parties gain information about the other party through a voluminous exchange of documents. These documents can later be used as evidence at a trial. In an uncontested divorce the parties either skip discovery or only exchange a few documents, since the terms are agreed upon and there is no need to for evidence since there will not be a trial.
- In a contested divorce, the parties may have to attend multiple hearings and mediation. In an uncontested divorce, the parties usually only have to attend a brief Uncontested Hearing, at the most.
Reach Out to Our Georgia Divorce Attorney
Whether you are facing a contested or uncontested case, you need an experienced Georgia divorce attorney on your side. Call or contact Stearns‑Montgomery & Proctor online today and request a consultation to see how we can help.