Contested or Uncontested

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is to explain the difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce.  A divorce action is a lawsuit, and just like any other lawsuit, the filing spouse makes a request of the court and the second spouse must either formally respond to that request or not.  When the second spouse responds, they file what is called a “Response.”  At that point, the case becomes a contested matter.   If the second spouse does not file a Response, the matter is then resolved either by default or as uncontested.   The uncontested solution most often occurs when both parties have already decided on how the case is to be settled, they have an agreement as to the terms, and want to avoid paying the second “filing” fee imposed by the court.  Their agreement is simply incorporated into the Judgment obtained by the filing spouse.   An uncontested resolution is generally the quickest, easiest and least expensive way to obtain a divorce settlement.  It is also usually the most beneficial especially where there are children.

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