Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

The terms "divorce" and "separation" are often incorrectly used interchangeably. A separation is when marriage partners sever their relationship with the intent of ending the marriage. Separation has no legal effect. However, in a divorce, the court actually orders the termination of the marriage, thus permitting individuals to legally remarry.

There are two kinds of divorces: (1) Contested Divorce, and (2) Uncontested Divorce.

A contested divorce is one in which the husband and wife cannot come to an agreement on one or several issues related to the termination of their marriage. Where the partners cannot come to an agreement, even with the aid of their respective counsels, the couple must then take their issue(s) to a court to be decided.

Contested divorces are a common scenario, given that there are numerous issues to be worked out between a couple that has decided to break their union. Some of these issues are sensitive subjects such as:

  • Custody of children
  • Child support
  • Division of assets and property
  • Allocation of debts
  • Alimony

A divorce is uncontested when the partners seeking to terminate their marriage agree on each and every item and issue related to the ending of their marriage. Often, this agreement can be settled by a professional mediator. Ellen Taylor Turley is not only a talented lawyer but she also has extensive experience in mediation. Ms. Turley is a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed Mediator. Find listing Here.

An Uncontested divorce does not necessarily mean that the divorce is amicable, but merely that all disputes between husband and wife were resolved outside of the courtroom. An uncontested divorce is usually the preferred situation for the parties involved. The process is more time efficient and much less costly than litigation.


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