Uncontested divorce occurs when one spouse files an application for divorce and the other spouse does not file an answer. This fundamentally states that on failing to file an answer, the spouse does agree with the divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses agree on the terms of the divorce, which most often does not require the parties to go to court. For an uncontested divorce to be valid, the parties must have resolved all issues such as child custody and access, and child and spousal support through a separation agreement or court order. An application for divorce may be submitted before the courts one year after the separation date, or earlier if there are grounds for mental and physical cruelty, or when a signed affidavit admitting to adultery is filed (consult a lawyer first).
A contested divorce occurs when the spouses disagree on some or all of the issues within the divorce. Most commonly, these disagreements include child and spousal support, division of the financial gains/loss accumulated during the marriage, and parenting schedules. Both parties then must set out their positions and views on the issues in dispute. Contested divorces may be settled a number of ways, for instance outside of court, using mediation/negotiation professionals, or through formal divorce procedures.
Uncontested divorces are generally faster and more efficient in terms of less stress and cost; whereas contested divorce is generally longer and more costly.
A person can remarry as soon as a divorce judgement has been granted.
The average cost for an uncontested divorce is approximately $1,000-$2,000. For a contested divorce, it will be significantly more.
While negative emotions can run high throughout any stage of your separation, it’s important to carefully choose an approach for your agreement that will minimize the financial and emotional stress put on you and your family. The longer a couple spends negotiating the terms of a separation agreement, the greater likelihood of negative long-term effects on you and your family.