Uncontested Divorce vs. Contested Divorce: What’s the Difference?


A couple must sort through many issues while completing the divorce process. How they handle these issues determines whether the divorce is ‘uncontested’ or ‘contested.’

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce can take place when both parties agree on every major divorce-related issue, including:

  • child custody;
  • child support;
  • spousal support; and/or
  • division of assets.

This type of divorce is easier to complete than a contested divorce because of how willing the couple is to compromise on issues. A divorce can start uncontested and end up contested, or vice versa. This can occur if a couple begins the proceedings in agreement on major issues but finds themselves disagreeing on fundamental aspects as the case goes on.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is when one or both spouses disagree on some or all major divorce-related issues. For this reason, proceedings often take longer than an uncontested divorce and could involve increased stress and legal fees.

If a the divorce is contested, the couple will likely need to complete the following steps:

  1. One party files and serves the other party with a divorce petition.
  2. The party served with the petition responds.
  3. The party’s attorneys engage in the discovery phase of the court proceedings. The discovery phase is when each attorney gathers evidence, information, or witnesses to bolster each side’s claims.
  4. The parties engage in pre-trial hearings and/or motions.
  5. The attorneys negotiate and propose settlements.
  6. If no settlement can be reached, both sides prepare for a trial.
  7. The divorce proceedings advance to a court trial.
  8. If either party disputes the judge’s final decision, they can begin the civil appeals process.

Protecting Your Best Interests

At K. Dean Kantaras, P.A., our divorce specialists will help you through your entire divorce proceeding. Whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, we will strongly advocate on your behalf.

To schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys, call our firm at (727) 939-6113 or contact us online.

Related Posts
  • How Do You Know When You’re Ready to Start Dating Again After a Divorce? Read More
  • 5 Steps to Move Forward After Gray Divorce Read More
  • Can I Get Divorced in Florida Without a Lawyer? Read More