For New Yorkers, divorce is often a difficult process rife with emotions and concerns about the future. However, some couples can agree on the issues that need to be settled as they take steps to end the marriage and do not need a drawn-out process. This exemplifies the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce. Before deciding on which is better for the situation, it is important to grasp the basics for each.

If one of the spouses does not want to divorce, it is a contested case. If there is disagreement as to the legal reasons for the divorce, it will be contested. And, if there is disagreement as to how the children, the finances or property from the marriage will be handled, it is a contested divorce. With a contested divorce, the judge will want details as to what the sticking points are. It will be necessary to go to court.

An uncontested divorce is easier to manage. The parties will want to move forward with the end of a marriage and divorce and agree about the various issues like children, finances and property. With an uncontested divorce, the parties have agreed about everything. The marriage must have been over for a minimum of six months, there must be no children under 21 years of age and the property considerations – including debt – must be agreed upon. For couples who believe there is the foundation to have an uncontested divorce, but they cannot get over the finish line, it might be useful to have mediation or collaborative family law.

Whether the divorce is relatively amicable or there are complex disagreements, it can help to get more information about family law. A lawyer experienced in all aspects of divorce can give advice and assistance.