Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Missouri

After the first spouse files for divorce, the second spouse has the right to contest the divorce. This means that the second spouse may formally disagree with something the first spouse (the Plaintiff) has said or requested in their Petition or request for divorce. An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties completely agree on everything requested in the Petition. Both of these types of divorce have different implications and follow a slightly different divorce process. In either type of divorce, a divorce attorney can provide legal advice to help ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

If you need a divorce lawyer in St. Louis or the surrounding areas to help you with your divorce process, contact us at the Kallen Law Firm today.

Contesting the Divorce or Contesting its Terms

The first type of contested divorce is a divorce in which the Defendant disagrees with the divorce entirely. For example, the wife wants a divorce but the husband does not. Therefore, he might contest the divorce itself and ask the court NOT to grant the divorce. This type of dispute does happen often, and it is actually rather rare.

Most of the time, a contested divorce is contested on its terms rather than as a whole. In this case, both parties agree to divorce, but they do not agree on issues like child custody and visitation, child support, property distribution, and/or spousal support.

Advantages of an Uncontested Divorcelawyer sits at desk, working on an uncontested divorce case

In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse agree on all of the issues, which obviously removes the need to bring the case to court and to litigation. Obviously, it is better to have both parties in agreement, but there are several other advantages of an uncontested divorce.

  • An uncontested divorce is generally much faster than a contested divorce.
  • Uncontested divorces are usually less acrimonious than contested divorces.
  • The uncontested divorce usually results in less anger, which makes future co-parenting easier.
  • At this stage, the divorce order can be granted if you 100% in agreement with your spouse on the terms.

How to Get an Uncontested Divorce

The first way to get an uncontested divorce is to simply agree with everything your spouse says. If the parting has been amicable, and you and your spouse are both reasonable, this may work out okay for some couples. However, it is important to ensure that you financial and emotional interests are protected in any divorce.

If you and your spouse agree on almost everything, collaborative divorce might be a good option for an uncontested divorce. In this option, you and your spouse meet with a neutral third-party who attempts to help you compromise on the last few issues that you need to hammer out. By the time the divorce is finalized, both parties have a compromise that they are pleased with and the divorce can proceed peacefully.

If you would like to achieve an uncontested divorce but it is hard for you and your spouse to work it all out, you might want to consider divorce mediation. In mediation, you and your spouse are each represented by an attorney who helps to protect your rights, but a neutral third-party mediator helps both of you to reach a compromise that everyone can be happy with.

Will Your Divorce be Uncontested?

Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure. It is not unusual for a divorcing couple to make an assumption about whether they will have a contested or uncontested divorce. Unfortunately, divorce is a situation that tends to bring out strong emotions, and those emotions can change the nature of a divorce rapidly. With a situation as emotionally charged as divorce, it is not uncommon for an uncontested divorce to turn into a difficult and acrimonious affair very quickly.

Contact Us to Learn More About Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces

Divorce, contested or not, is a very emotional thing to endure. It always helps to have a third party present to advise and help you navigate the twists and turns. For a review and consultation of your case and for help ensuring that your interests are protected in any divorce proceedings, contact one of our St. Louis divorce lawyers today to get help.

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