The Difference Between Contested And Uncontested Divorce
In Alabama, your divorce may be either contested or uncontested. The difference is important, as the type of divorce you choose will affect your legal process, the amount of time you can expect to bring the matter to a conclusion and the costs involved.
As the name implies, a contested divorce is one in which the parties are unable to agree on terms that both believe to be fair and equitable. The parties’ inability to come to an agreement may require a judge to resolve the matter. By their very nature, contested divorces require additional time and expenses.
An uncontested divorce means both parties agree on the terms of the divorce, which allows for an accelerated process and less litigation expenses.
If you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce, you may choose to file a complaint for divorce in any county in Alabama. You and your spouse will need to agree on all terms, including the separation of property and the custody arrangements for the children.
You will also have to agree on any child support or spousal support matters. Your attorneys can help you work out the details of your agreement. After you sign the paperwork the court will review the terms of your agreement and adopt those terms as the order of the court. Once the court enters your final decree of divorce, you will officially be divorced after a 30-day waiting period which is required by Alabama law.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on the terms, you will need to file a contested divorce. This process may result in a trial at which you and your spouse will be required to present evidence to support your position.
However, filing a contested divorce does not prohibit the parties from continuing to negotiate a settlement. The judge may suggest, or in some circumstances require, that you try mediation before going to trial. If mediation does not resolve the issues, your case will go to trial.
In contested cases, your lawyer can help you secure terms that you believe are fair and equitable. Our team at the Law Office of Joshua B. James, LLC, will represent your interests in court, help you work through what you should consider for your divorce and will help you anticipate post-divorce issues.
Consult With A Divorce Attorney Today
Whether you think you will have a contested or uncontested divorce, both parties should consult with their own attorney. We are ready to discuss your divorce with you today.