Contested vs. uncontested divorces

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
Any divorce proceedings in which the parties haven't agreed about every aspect of the divorce are considered a contested divorce. Sometimes a couple is unable to work out the terms of their divorce by themselves, and aren't able to agree on important items such as division of property, alimony, and, if there are children, custody, support, and visitation. Some couples may try a process called divorce mediation, where an impartial third party attempts to help them reach decisions regarding these matters. Other couples choose to take their divorce to court and allow their lawyers and a judge to work out the terms of their divorce. An uncontested divorce describes any divorce where the spouse suing for the divorce doesn't have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. An uncontested divorce is also referred to as a 'no fault' divorce. To obtain a no fault divorce, one spouse must simply state a reason recognized by the state. In most states, it's enough to declare that the couple cannot get along, sometimes called 'incompatibility' or 'irreconcilable differences.' Uncontested divorces may be difficult for couples who have a difficult time meeting with one another or are too emotional to work out the terms of their divorce.
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