RD- an actual child support client
"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
01/10/2014
RD- an actual child support client
"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
01/10/2014
“Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results.”
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Contested versus Uncontested Divorce

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Family in need of attorney

Few would dispute the contention that a divorce is anything but pleasant. For those placed in a position in which the other spouse contests the divorce, terminating the marital union can seem all the more unpleasant. Even when spouses are in agreement over the need to end the marriage, there may be little more that they are able to agree upon. Whether contested or uncontested, the Gainesville Divorce Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. are committed to our client focused results driven approach to protecting your legal rights and alleviating your concerns during the difficult period of transitioning from being a married couple to being single.

While understanding the difference between a divorce that is ‘contested’ and one that is ‘uncontested,’ may seem fairly straightforward, the two are commonly misinterpreted to mean that the spouses either agree or disagree as to whether the marriage should be ended. However, concluding that the marriage is irretrievably broken—whether through agreement or court determination—is just one aspect of a divorce—and a very small one at that.

In the legal context, the terms ‘contested divorce’ and ‘uncontested divorce’ refer to the presence or absence of dispute over any issue that must be dealt with during the dissolution process, such as distribution of marital assets; the custody and support of minor children; and alimony. Stated differently, in an uncontested divorce, the spouses agree on all the terms of the divorce, whereas in a contested divorce there is disagreement over at least one or more terms of the divorce.

Uncontested divorces are generally more less stressful, because this approach can offer an efficient and cost-effective means of reaching the end stage—final judgment for dissolution of marriage. At the same time, it is important to ensure that any agreed-upon terms are well thought out and carefully drafted, prior to entering into a legally-binding agreement. No spouse wants to find themselves in the position of having entered into a settlement agreement that conflicts with their intentions, negatively impacts their legal interests, and/or fails to fully address each and every issue. Consequently, consulting with an experienced divorce lawyer is essential even in uncontested dissolutions.

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Contested divorces, on the other hand, are typically much lengthier, but offer the parties a means of fully resolving disputed matters in a fair and equitable manner. However, keep in mind that initially contesting a matter does not mean that the case need to proceed to trial. Rather, disputes can often be resolved through attorney-assisted negotiation and/or family mediation. In some cases mediation is a mandatory, however, even when it is not required, the advantages of mediation should be considered whenever there is a genuine possibility of eliminating, or at least limiting the quantity or extent of issues in dispute.

Although resolving matters, without the need for trial, is often the more preferred route in terms of expense, time, and stress—as family law attorneys, we understand that even the most reasonable adults may be unable to reach agreement on issues regarding marital assets and liabilities; parental rights and responsibility over minor children; and/or child and spousal support. Selecting an attorney that has actual litigation experience and the proven ability to attain successful results in contested divorces, is particularly important in cases where trial may be necessary to resolve disputes.

As seasoned family law practitioners, the Gainesville Divorce Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. have the skill, resources, and legal know-how to attain results. Yet, we also offer the personal attention to client needs that can only come with a small firm. Divorce can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. However, by having a legal professional in your corner, enduring the life-changing process of dissolving a marriage can be a far less-stressful experience to go through.