Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Palm Beach County
Once you decide to file for divorce, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse must work out all your divorce issues or leave the decision-making to a judge. Depending on your situation, your divorce can be uncontested or contested. If you and your spouse can agree on all your divorce issues, your divorce is uncontested. On the other hand, if one or both of you are contesting one or more issues, your divorce becomes a contested divorce.
Understanding How a Contested Divorce Works
In contested divorces, the spouses simply can’t reach a decision on some or all their divorce issues. One of them might not want to get divorced at all. When this happens, they’ll need to go through the entire divorce process. They must go through the discovery process and exchange relevant information and paperwork.
If children are involved, the judge might order an evaluation or appoint an individual to represent the best interests of the children for custody and visitation purposes. The judge might also order the spouses to go through mediation to try and resolve their disputes. If mediation does not work, their divorce case advances to trial.
During the trial, each party will present their case, and the judge will base his or her decision on the evidence and testimonies of all parties. Contested divorces will take longer to finalize than uncontested divorces due to all the legal steps involved. It is common for contested divorces to last up to a year or longer. Contested divorces involving significant assets may take even longer to finalize.
How an Uncontested Divorce Works
In uncontested divorces, the spouses have come to an agreement on all their divorce issues, including:
- The division of marital property and debts
- The child custody and visitation arrangements
- The child support and spousal support amounts
Once the spouses have agreed to all the terms, their attorneys will draft the written divorce agreement. Having this agreement will make the entire divorce process faster, smoother, and more efficient. Take note, however, that even with a divorce agreement, the spouses must still go through the final divorce hearing, in which a judge will review the agreement to ensure that it’s fair for everyone involved and finalize the divorce.
In Florida, a simplified uncontested divorce is the fastest and easiest way to get a divorce. But even regular uncontested divorces will not take as long as contested divorces. Once the spouses agree to all the divorce terms, they just need to file the agreement with the appropriate court and ask for a final divorce hearing.
Talk to a Seasoned Palm Beach County Divorce Attorney Today
Whether you are going through an uncontested or contested divorce, you will need an experienced advocate capable of fighting for you and your child’s best interests. Our Palm Beach County divorce attorney, Brian McMahon, knows the ins and outs of the divorce process, so you can focus on what matters most, rebuilding your life after a divorce. To learn more about your case, arrange your free consultation with our Palm Beach County divorce attorney by calling 561-658-1789 or reaching us online.