What is the Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorces?

Divorces can often become a very complex and tiring process for couples. It requires a great deal of patience and decision making to reach the necessary arrangements for a divorce. These processes may vary depending on if the spouses in question are able to agree on the matters at hand. Different types of divorce allow couples to work through these issues in a way that suits them personally. In the state of New York, couples can go through two main types of divorce: contested and uncontested. Spouses can benefit from an experienced attorney during this time to guide them and alleviate stress throughout the process.

Contested Divorce

When spouses cannot agree on the arrangements regarding their marital issues, it is known as a contested divorce. This happens when neither spouse signs an agreement about the terms of their separation, leaving these matters unsolved. In the event of this, a judge will then make these decisions for the couple to settle their disagreements. This may include decisions about issues such as child support, custody, the division of assets, and alimony.

Before the proceedings can begin, spouses are required to cite either “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. When no-fault grounds is cited, it means neither spouse is holding 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 due to 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 both settle the arrangements of their divorce. This is also referred to as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” When this happens, a couple must resolve all marital issues before the proceedings can begin. This is also in regard to matters such as alimony, child custody and support, parenting time, 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 wish for the proceedings to happen outside of the court. Alternatives methods may include mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce. These processes are completely voluntary, although they can be favorable for all parties involved in the proceedings.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce and wishes to seek legal counsel, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.

Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today for a free consultation.