What is an Uncontested Divorce vs. a Contested Divorce?

Two individuals, possibly Jewish divorce lawyers, engaged in paperwork at a modern office table, in the midst of a business meeting or collaboration.

All in all, divorce is a complicated process on all fronts. But the first difficulty is determining whether you and your spouse must undergo an uncontested divorce or a contested divorce. Continue reading to learn the difference between the two and how one of the experienced divorce attorneys in Nassau County at Barrows Levy PLLC can guide you toward a process that is in your best interest.

What is an uncontested divorce?

Put simply, an uncontested divorce is when you and your spouse can agree on all divorce-related terms to finalize a settlement agreement. This is the recommended divorce route for couples who have remained amicable since their separation. That said, examples of major divorce terms that you and your spouse must see eye-to-eye on include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Child custody.
  • Child support.
  • Property distribution.
  • Alimony.

With this, you and your spouse may choose to divorce through alternative methods besides litigation. Such alternative methods include the following:

  • Arbitration.
  • Mediation.
  • Collaborative divorce.

Evidently, spouses prefer to undergo an uncontested divorce if possible. This is because this process tends to be less hostile, less expensive, and less time-consuming. However, an uncontested divorce can easily turn into a contested divorce if you and your spouse disagree on just one divorce issue.

What grounds for divorce should I cite for an uncontested divorce?

Notably, New York State is a “no-fault” state. Meaning, you and your spouse have the option of citing fault grounds or no-fault grounds by declaring an “irretrievable breakdown for a period of six months or more prior to the commencement of the action for divorce.”

If you and your spouse plan to go through with an uncontested divorce, it may be in your best interest to cite no-fault grounds for divorce. This is because if you cite fault grounds, you will allow your spouse to rebut your accusations. Such disagreement can, ultimately, turn this into a contested divorce.

For more information, contact a skilled Nassau County uncontested divorce lawyer today.

What is a contested divorce?

On the other hand, if you and your spouse cannot agree on critical divorce terms, then you must enter a contested divorce which will proceed in the presence of a New York court. The court will then settle the contested divorce issues on your behalf.

With a contested divorce, you and your spouse must first attend a compliance conference where the New York judge will attempt to make an initial settlement agreement. If this is not doable, then your divorce will go to trial. At trial, the New York judge will hear both your and your spouse’s wants and needs. And after analyzing various documents, bank statements, and other critical factors, they will finalize their decision.

For more information, contact a competent Nassau County contested divorce lawyer today.


If you need a Nassau County lawyer who has significant experience handling family and estate planning matters, contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

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