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Two Distinct Types Of Divorce

There are two primary types of divorce available in most states across America: simple and contested divorce. Many different aspects of how the divorce is managed and the influence on the different parties will be impacted by whether the parties are pursuing a contested or uncontested divorce. The issues that can impact this include:

  • Residency requirements
  • Getting a final divorce decree
  • Waiting periods between filing and getting a final divorce decree
  • Legal costs
  • Court costs
  • Separation pre-requisites


Separating couples that are approaching the prospect of filing for divorce should clearly understand the difference between these two types of divorce before filing. It may be in their best interest to explore an uncontested divorce that could be better for everyone involved and could help to minimize the stress as well as the legal costs associated with ending the marriage.

Contested Divorce or Simple Divorce

A contested divorce is any situation in which the parties are unable to agree on all of the key issues associated with terminating the marriage. These include:

When You Can’t Agree

When spouses are unable to arrive at an agreement on their own, they must head into litigation to address these critical issues. The court is appointed to adjudicate the dispute when parties are unable to resolve things as is extremely common. There are so many different issues associated with terminating a marriage that of the two types of divorce, it is more common to have a contested divorce than an uncontested divorce.

Contested Divorces Can Take Longer

The more complicated of the two types of divorce is the Contested divorce, it can take a long time to complete, amplifying the financial and emotional issues tied to the end of a marriage. These are big reasons why most couples will at least attempt to resolve some issues on their own outside of court before resorting to contested litigation with the help of an attorney.

Uncontested Divorce

Frequently, an uncontested divorce may also be referred to as a simple divorce. This is because of the two types of divorce, uncontested means that both parties will have agreed on all the key issues associated with ending their marriage, leaving nothing behind to be unresolved or disputed.

It’s Not Always Amicable

This does not always necessarily mean, however, that the divorce will be amicable rather it simply means that the parties have been unable to come together and agree on all disputed items rather than having them go through the litigation process, to have a judge adjudicate and decide.

What Most Couples Can Agree On

The majority of couples would prefer an uncontested divorce as a result of the privacy, simplicity, speed, inexpensiveness, and convenience. The cost savings and the efficiency of an uncontested divorce are two of the primary reasons people pursue it, to begin with. If you can amicably agree to call it quits, of the two types of divorce available, uncontested is less costly.

Sometimes You Will Agree to Disagree

Unfortunately, however, you may not always be able to reach an agreement with the other spouse, thus prompting you to consult with an experienced contested divorce attorney. If you cannot agree with your former spouse, however, you may have no choice but to consider a contested divorce. In this situation, it is strongly recommended that you identify an attorney who can help you navigate the complex process.

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