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The Differences Between Contested and Uncontested Florida Divorces

Depending on the reason dissolution is occurring, the relationship between the parties involved, and the ability of that couple to work together to reach solutions, a divorce may be either contested or uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, the parties agree that their marriage is over and also agree on the terms of the dissolution. A contested divorce happens any time one spouse wants to challenge the divorce or the parties have incompatible ideas about what the divorce should look like.

Issues that must be addressed in either type of divorce include:

  • Division of marital property
  • Child custody and support
  • Spousal support (alimony)

Depending on whether the couple can work together to arrive at solutions, the case will either be contested or uncontested.

Uncontested divorces tend to be less costly and faster than contested cases. Through mediation or negotiation, the parties work out their differences to reach a solution involving compromises that allow both sides to move forward with their lives. Once these decisions have been recorded in documents (sometimes referred to as separation agreements and parenting plans), the parties’ attorneys work to get a judge to approve the divorce.

When any aspect of a divorce is contested, a Florida judge will apply state law to resolve the issue. This means that your attorney will need to conduct discovery to find evidence and then litigate each issue in the courtroom. Because judges must follow the law, and because they don’t know you and your family, their decisions are often inconvenient for both parties. However, when your spouse won’t cooperate, a contested divorce will allow you to get a legal resolution to your case and move on with your life.

Whether you and your spouse agree to a divorce or not, you need an attorney who will faithfully represent your interests. To learn more about the marriage dissolution process, contact the Tampa divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras, P.A.

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