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Uncontested vs. contested divorce: What it means for couples

Divorce is a complex process that requires careful thought and numerous important decisions. One of the first and most significant choices a couple faces when ending their marriage is determining whether the divorce will be contested or uncontested. This decision is not just about understanding legal terminology. It’s about recognizing how this choice can set the tone for the entire divorce process and significantly impact how they navigate this life event.

Amicable agreements on marital matters

In an uncontested divorce, the couple finds common ground on all aspects of ending their marriage. With all issues mutually agreed upon, uncontested divorces tend to move more swiftly and seamlessly through the legal system. This fact often reduces legal expenses.

A matter of circumstance, not choice

On the other hand, a contested divorce occurs when the couple in Illinois cannot reach a mutual agreement on one or more issues. These disagreements may revolve around matters of asset division, spousal maintenance or parental responsibilities.

Common reasons for undergoing this type of divorce include:

  • Disagreement over division of assets
  • Dispute over spousal maintenance
  • Conflict over the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time
  • Disagreements on child support
  • Differing views on marital debts

These divorces can become more complex and tedious than an uncontested divorce. Couples may need the court to intervene to resolve disputes, making the process generally longer and usually more costly.

Moving forward with the proceedings

Certain circumstances may necessitate a contested divorce, especially in situations involving domestic violence. In such instances, one spouse may be unable to reach an agreement with the other and may need a court to advocate for their interests. Regardless, the decision to pursue a divorce is a significant one. Individuals may benefit from the help of a lawyer to guide them through the process, especially in contested divorces, to achieve their desired outcome.

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