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Understanding The Types of Divorce: Contested, Uncontested, and Collaborative

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Understanding The Types of Divorce: Contested, Uncontested, and Collaborative

Understanding the different types of divorce will empower you to make the best decision for your situation. A surprise to many, the type of divorce you choose can lead to dramatically different outcomes, as each type involves distinct procedures, advantages, and disadvantages.  

Below, we explore the key differences between contested, uncontested, and collaborative divorce scenarios. By approaching your divorce situation with a better understanding of your options, you stand to save time and money and are more likely to achieve an amicable outcome that honors your hopes and needs. 

Contested Divorce: When One or Both Parties Disagree on Key Issues

A contested divorce occurs when spouses are unwilling to agree on key subjects, such as child custody, child support, or property division. A contested divorce can also arise if initial attempts at seeking compromise through divorce mediation or third-party negotiations fail. In addition to an unwillingness for spouses to compromise, other situations, such as power imbalances or a history of spousal abuse, can necessitate a contested divorce scenario that requires separate legal counsel and court hearings to reach a fair divorce agreement. 

Many contested divorce scenarios include: 

  • Adversarial legal processes: If attempts at negotiation or mediation fail, each spouse may choose to hire a private attorney to build a case against their spouse. If the divorce proceeds to trial, the final details of the divorce agreement will be determined by the judge. 
  • Increased expenses: A contested divorce is generally the most expensive divorce option due to ongoing lawyer fees, court costs, and other unforeseen expenses that arise since disputed cases can last for months or years.  
  • Added stress and emotional turbulence: As you can imagine, a drawn-out court dispute is often an exhausting experience that leads to anger, bitterness, sadness, and other distressing emotions that can have lasting consequences on family wellbeing. 

Uncontested Divorce: When Both Parties Agree on the Majority of Key Issues

If both parties are willing to agree to each other’s terms, an uncontested divorce can proceed with straightforward legal negotiations outside of court. An uncontested divorce circumvents the need for a trial, which generally results in faster divorce approval, fewer expenses, and reduced emotional turmoil. 

Even if a couple agrees to each other’s terms, an uncontested divorce may still involve higher-than-anticipated legal expenses. For example, since each spouse may choose to hire a private attorney to review the divorce petition, arrange documents, and assist with court submissions, an uncontested divorce using private legal counsel may be less expensive than a contested divorce, but it can still cost significantly more than the collaborative divorce process outlined below. 

Collaborative Divorce: The Best Option for Amicable Divorce Outcomes

This is similar to an uncontested divorce where both parties agree to each other’s terms, but the entire divorce process is managed through collaborative divorce mediation sessions. How is this better than seeking an uncontested divorce with separate lawyers? 

A neutral divorce mediator costs significantly less, expedites the entire submission process, and can help you navigate all necessary divorce topics with clarity. With a focus on the facts of your situation, our goal is to guide the discussions in a fair, legal, and equitable way that promotes mutually beneficial outcomes for everyone involved. 

Best of all, by consolidating all of the divorce steps through divorce mediation, there is no need to hire individual attorneys. Our legal experts streamline the entire document-creation process, walk you through all legal requirements, and submit the finalized divorce agreement to the court on your behalf. 

By choosing to manage your divorce collaboratively with our divorce mediators at Long Island Divorce Mediation, several benefits emerge, such as: 

  • Thousands in potential legal savings
  • Significantly faster divorce approval timelines
  • Reduced emotional stress and frustration
  • Preservation of family well-being following the divorce

Not sure which divorce option is best for your situation? Our experienced legal professionals are happy to assist with no-obligation education and recommendations. Contact us today for your free consultation.

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