What to Know About Contested and Uncontested Divorce in New York

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The process of a divorce is complex and often overwhelming. The method of how a divorce occurs depends heavily on the status of both parties and if they have been able to reach an agreement on their marital issues. Depending on if they have or not, will determine if they will have a contested or uncontested divorce. If you are going through a divorce, it is in your best interest to retain the services of an experienced New York divorce attorney to learn more about your options.

What is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce occurs when spouses cannot come to an agreement on their marital issues. In this case, neither spouse will sign an agreement on the terms of their separation, which leaves behind many unresolved issues. When this occurs, a judge will have to evaluate each issue and come to a compromise for the couple. The most typical contested divorce issues include topics like child support, child custody, division of assets, and alimony.

With contested divorces, a spouse is able to cite “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. When no-fault grounds are ordered, neither spouse is putting the blame for the end of the marriage on the other. In this case, the couple may begin the divorce proceedings. On the other hand, when a spouse cites fault grounds, they will hold their spouse for action and declare it to be the reason for their divorce. Examples of fault grounds include the following:

  • Desertion
  • Adultery
  • Cruelty
  • Impotency
  • Incarceration for over 5 years
  • Habitual intoxication or drug addiction
  • Fraudulent marriage

What is an uncontested divorce?

On the other hand, an uncontested divorce means that all marital issues between both parties, including alimony, child custody, child support, child visitation, division of assets, and alimony have been resolved. This type of divorce normally happens when both spouses mutually believe that their marriages cannot be fixed and agree to the arrangements of their divorce. An uncontested divorce is also commonly known as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” There are two types of irretrievable breakdowns:

  • 1A Divorce: When both spouses agree on their marital issues.
  • 1B Divorce: When marital issues are left unresolved.

Uncontested divorces give both parties the option of which method they would like to use for their divorce. For instance, they may choose mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce instead of litigation. All of these choices are voluntary but are more efficient both with time and finances for both parties and their families.


Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. Our firm understands the impact a divorce can have on your life. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, please do not hesitate to contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.

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