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Contested & Uncontested Divorce

It is both emotionally and financially beneficial to all parties affected by a family law matter, especially children, if the parties are able to resolve all of their differences by agreement.

A matter in which all issues have been resolved and there is nothing left for a court to decide is referred to as “uncontested”.  A matter in which the parties are in disagreement as to some or all of their issues, requiring that they be submitted to a court for resolution, is referred to as “contested”. 

To resolve contested matters, a trial or other hearing will be set before a judge, or sometimes a magistrate, who will decide the issues in dispute after hearing each party’s evidence, witnesses, and positions. The length of the trial will depending on the complexity of the unresolved issues. 

Conversely, if the parties to a divorce matter have resolved all issues by agreement, the court will typically set the matter for a very brief hearing to take testimony in support of the claim for divorce and then adopt the parties’ agreement in the order granting the divorce.

Many cases start as contested, then fully resolve during the litigation, so become uncontested and proceed to an uncontested divorce.