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Contested v. Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

rechel & associates, p.a.

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Divorced Couple

A contested dissolution is one where the spouses do not agree on at least ONE issue – be it the parenting plan, the equitable distribution of your assets and liabilities, the issue of alimony or child support, or the issue of attorney fees/costs. Disagreement on any one of these matters will make your case “contested,” thereby the parties must petition the court that they will need to resolve that dispute(s) with its assistance. Typically, attorney’s fees are charged on an hourly basis and the total cost depends on how much the parties must fight to either later settle the disputed issues or submit the matter for trial.

An uncontested divorce is just that – the parties are commencing the proceeding with a full settlement of all issues with a written and signed settlement agreement executed prior to the filing of the case. The executed (signed and notarized) martial settlement agreement must contain all provisions of the parties’ agreement, and must be filed with the court, along with the petition, and an answer from the “respondent” spouse that indicates there are no disputed issues.

The martial settlement agreement would have to include an encompass your parenting plan, your equitable distribution agreement, your agreement regarding alimony, your child support calculation based on the statute (including the worksheet in support of it) and any agreement regarding payment of attorney fees/costs.

An uncontested divorce MUST still meet all paperwork requirements, including the filing of a financial affidavit and child support worksheet, UCCJEA affidavit, etc.

Typically, fees for an uncontested divorce are charged on a flat fee, although if excessive negotiation and redrafting must occur to achieve the signed marital settlement agreement, the additional work is usually charged on an hourly basis.

If you aren’t sure which type of divorce filing you should prepare, contested or uncontested, an experienced divorce attorney can help walk you through the process. To learn more about how one of our attorneys can help you with your divorce, contact us today.

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. This website is not intended to provide any legal advice and you should not rely on this website for legal advice. Any statutes or other laws that are mentioned on this website may not have been updated recently and, therefore, the information on this website may not be the most current information available. Rechel & Associates, P.A. does not give legal advice except during formal consultation and/or after an individual signs a written retainer agreement and becomes a client of the Firm.