There are a number of decisions that must be made before the divorce can be finalized. For instance, how will the couple’s property be divided in the divorce? If the couple has children together, who will be the custodial parent and who will be the non-custodial parent? Will one spouse be required to pay spousal support or child support to the other spouse? California is a no-fault divorce state, which means neither you nor your spouse is required to prove misconduct on the part of the other in order to get a divorce. However, agreeing to end your marriage is only the first step in the divorce process. You will also have to agree on how to divide your assets, provide for your children and deal with other key matters if you want your divorce to be amicable and uncontested. If you are considering a divorce in California, call (619) Divorce today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Table of Contents Uncontested Divorce vs. Divorce
Skilled Divorce Lawyers in California
Despite how common divorce is, the word “divorce” has a negative connotation and carries with it a certain stigma that often leaves divorcé(e)s feeling ashamed or embarrassed. A large percentage of married couples end up pursuing divorce – between 40% and 50% in the United States, in fact – but that doesn’t mean they are failures and it certainly doesn’t mean their divorce has to be nasty or contentious. In fact, statistics show that 95% of divorces in the United States are “uncontested,” meaning the divorcing spouses are able to come to an agreement about property, children, support and other issues, either with or without the help of lawyers or mediators. Whatever the circumstances of your California divorce, whether it is contested or uncontested and whether it involves children, significant assets, complex property division or other major issues that must be agreed upon before the divorce can be finalized, it is in your best interest to consult a lawyer who specializes in California divorces and can help guide you through each step of the divorce process. Our lawyers at (619) Divorce have successfully represented clients in divorce and family law cases for more than a decade and we know what it takes to get you the results you want. Contact our law firm today to discuss your case with an experienced California divorce lawyer.
Divorce: Uncontested or Contested
When one or both spouses in a marriage decide to get a divorce in California, there are two main ways the divorce can play out. If the divorcing spouses can come to an agreement on the terms of their divorce and all major issues, the divorce is considered “uncontested.” Even if the couple is initially unable to agree on one or more issues, but eventually finds a mutually acceptable resolution that meets both of their needs, it is considered an uncontested divorce. Conversely, if there are one or more key issues that the spouses are unable to agree on themselves, the divorce is considered “contested.” Some major issues that can arise during a divorce case and result in a difficult dispute include:
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Property division
- Division of assets
- Payment of debts
Difference Between Uncontested and Contested Divorces
Besides the ability of the divorcing spouses to form an agreement, there are a number of other factors that set contested and uncontested divorces apart from one another. One of the biggest differences between a contested divorce and uncontested divorce is the amount of time it takes for the divorce to be finalized. In a contested divorce, the couple could end up battling one another in court and dragging the divorce case out over the course of weeks or even months. Uncontested divorces, on the other hand, go through relatively quickly. Since uncontested divorces do not require a trial or other time-consuming legal procedures, they also typically cost less than contested divorces, which have to go through numerous legal steps before the divorce is finalized. Finally, in a contested divorce, decisions that could impact the divorcing spouses for the rest of their lives are made by the judge assigned to their case. For instance, the court can decide how to divide the couple’s property, which spouse gets custody of the couple’s children and how much the spousal support and/or child support payments will be, among other decisions. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the judge may prioritize some issues over others and these decisions may not necessarily align with the priorities of the couple, which could make a contested divorce even more contentious. Generally speaking, the more control divorcing spouses have over the terms of their divorce, the more likely they are to find a middle ground that they can both live with.
What Kind of Divorce is Right for Me?
If you and your spouse have few assets and no children, or if you can agree on how to handle issues like child custody, child support, spousal support and the division of your assets and property, an uncontested divorce may be the way to go. An uncontested divorce is generally the simplest, fastest and most cost-effective form of divorce in California, which is why many couples choose to go that route. However, if you find that there are a number of issues that you and your spouse are unable to agree on, and you don’t see an equitable settlement in your future, your divorce will most likely end up being contested. There are certain indisputable advantages to an uncontested divorce, but it isn’t always possible for divorcing spouses to agree on important matters like child custody and the division of their assets and debts. If this is the case for you, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who specializes in California divorce and family law and can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the divorce process. With the help of a San Diego divorce attorney, you and your spouse could end up working out an equitable settlement agreement that resolves your disputes and keep the case out of court altogether. If your case does go to court, you will certainly want a reputable divorce lawyer on your side to represent your best interests and help the case move along as smoothly as possible under the circumstances.
How an Experienced Divorce Lawyer Can Help
All too often, divorcing spouses think they can come to an agreement on important marriage and family issues, but end up disagreeing about who will have custody of their children or how their property will be divided in divorce. In this case, if the couple can’t reach a resolution on their own, what started out as an uncontested divorce can become contested, and these critical issues could end up being decided by a judge. This is one of the main reasons enlisting the help of a reputable divorce lawyer is so important. Things can change quickly and unexpectedly in a divorce case and if this happens to you, you won’t want to be caught off guard with no one to offer you expert legal advice. Every California divorce case is different and divorce proceedings can be complex and convoluted in even the most uncomplicated of marriages. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and apprehensive when facing a divorce, even an uncontested divorce, which is why we always recommend consulting an experienced divorce lawyer beforehand. There may be matters in your divorce that need to be addressed that you hadn’t considered before, or there may be certain sticking points that you and your spouse end up disagreeing on unexpectedly. Hiring an attorney can help you resolve these issues in a quick and satisfactory manner and ensure that you have a clear understanding of everything you are agreeing to in your divorce.
Consult Our California Divorce Lawyers Today
Ending a marriage is never easy. There are a lot of emotions involved in divorce and it is far too common for divorcing spouses to end up fighting tooth and nail over issues they could have otherwise come to an agreement on had they sought guidance from a knowledgeable attorney. Although many divorces in California end on less than amicable terms, divorce doesn’t always have to be a contentious issue. Under the right circumstances, where divorcing spouses are able to come to an agreement about the division of their marital assets, child custody and child support issues, and other vital matters, divorce can be a far simpler process. If you are considering divorce in California, whether you expect the divorce to be contested or uncontested, it is a good idea to hire a knowledgeable divorce lawyer who can help you navigate the ins and outs of the California divorce process and advocate for you throughout the duration of your case. Contact (619) Divorce today to find out how our expert California divorce lawyers can help.