What is the Difference Between a Contested Divorce And an Uncontested Divorce?

Going through a divorce is always stressful. Unfortunately, roughly fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce in this day and age. That said, if you’re looking to get divorced, it is of paramount importance that you understand your options and know how the process may move along. To start, you should note that there are two types of divorce: contested divorce and uncontested divorce, and the type you choose will drastically affect the way your divorce proceeds. Please continue reading and reach out to a dedicated Bristol County divorce lawyer from our legal team to learn more. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What makes a contested divorce different from an uncontested divorce in Massachusetts?

The primary difference between a contested divorce and an uncontested one is that in an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse will agree on all divorce-related terms (e.g. child custody, child support, alimony, and property distribution, among others), while in a contested divorce, those terms are left unresolved and must be decided in a courtroom by a judge or via mediation.

What are fault grounds?

If you can’t agree on the terms of your divorce, then you’ll have to cite grounds for divorce. You can either cite fault grounds or file a “no-fault” divorce. Essentially, a no-fault divorce states that neither spouse is to blame for the dissolution of the marriage. This doesn’t mean that the divorce is uncontested; it just means that you’re not blaming each other for the end of your marriage. If you choose to cite a fault ground, such as adultery, desertion, non-support, or a prison sentence of five or more years, your spouse will have a chance to respond and likely deny the allegations. Often, citing fault grounds leads to a far longer, more expensive, and more contentious divorce process. For this reason, in most cases, it’s best to simply file a no-fault divorce and hash out your disagreements from there.

Do I need an attorney?

If you’re in a contested divorce, you absolutely need a competent attorney in your corner. Decisions regarding who gets to keep the home, child custody, and spousal support, among others, are very serious ones not to be taken lightly. Your future will largely be shaped by the outcome of your divorce, and having a seasoned lawyer on your side can make a world of difference. If you need a legal team who can fight for you, every step of the way, contact the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today.

Contact our experienced Bristol County firm

If you need help through a contested divorce or with any other family law matter,ย contact The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C.ย for a consultation today.