Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Florida: What You Need to Know

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Do you have questions about the differences between contested and uncontested divorces in Florida? At the Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm, our seasoned divorce lawyers daily deal with both types of divorces. We often receive questions from our clients regarding their available options.

To help clarify the distinctions, we’ve provided the answers to some of the most common questions we receive related to contested and uncontested divorces.

Is an Uncontested Divorce Easier Than a Contested Divorce?

Clients generally find it easier to cope with an uncontested divorce because contested divorces often involve contentiousness. An uncontested divorce arises when parties can agree to all terms; therefore, they remain more emotionally manageable to deal with than contested divorces.

Below are some important decisions all divorcing couples must make:

On rare occasions, some couples prefer a contested divorce over an uncontested divorce because it involves less negotiation between the divorcing spouses. An uncontested divorce necessitates cooperation between the spouses, while a contested divorce allows clients to use their divorce lawyers as intermediaries. This lack of direct communication between the spouses remains crucial when litigating a disputed prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Do Uncontested Divorces Get Resolved Faster?

In almost all cases, uncontested divorces get resolved faster than contested divorces. One of the reasons contested divorces take longer than uncontested divorces is that a contested divorce involves extra steps. Some of the additional procedures during a contested divorce include:

  • Service of process
  • Answer to Petition for Dissolution of Divorce
  • Mandatory financial disclosures (waivable in uncontested divorces)
  • Negotiation attempts and mediation
  • Hearings on disputed issues and discovery and trial.

Many divorcing couples remain unaware of what awaits them during a contested divorce. As a result, many divorces that begin as contested quickly become uncontested after clients experience delayed hearings, depositions, demanding procedures, and mounting legal fees. The chance that a contested divorce may stretch for multiple years can end up bringing couples back to the bargaining table.

In rare cases, especially those that involve numerous high-value assets, an uncontested divorce may take longer to sort out than the shortest contested divorces. However, such cases remain the unique exceptions rather than the rule.

Which Type of Divorce is More Affordable?

Divorce proceedings are costly, life-altering affairs. The more time a client spends in front of a judge or consulting with a divorce lawyer, the more the divorce process costs. When looking at the total cost of a divorce, uncontested divorces remain far more affordable than contested divorces in almost all cases.

From the perspective of individual clients, the more affordable option may depend on the range of possible outcomes. For instance, winning your contested divorce case may prove more profitable than settling an uncontested divorce, even after accounting for attorney fees.

How affordable your divorce and separation turn out to be will partly depend on whether the court awards your attorney fees.

What Are the Benefits of an Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce?

Choosing an uncontested divorce over a contested divorce offers a client several benefits, including reduced time, money, and emotional investments. However, an uncontested divorce provides a few other perks as well.

Let’s discuss some of the other advantages of an uncontested divorce in Florida.

Superior Privacy

When the parties agree on the terms of their divorce, they avoid everything that comes with a trial in open court, including the airing of their dirty laundry. For this reason, an uncontested divorce provides superior privacy for everyone involved.

Added Control

Most clients enjoy the feeling of exercising some degree of control over the outcomes of their divorce cases. When you retain the services of a qualified divorce attorney, you increase your chances of feeling satisfied with the result of your uncontested divorce.

Prevention of Adverse Judgments

When you pursue a contested divorce, you essentially give up most of your control over the eventual outcome. Allowing a contested divorce case to proceed to trial represents a high-risk, high-reward strategy. Some clients express shock when the final judgment comes down from the bench.

Fewer Mistakes

The constant back and forth of a contested divorce creates a breeding ground for errors that may impact a client’s financial future, as well as that of any children involved. If those errors go unnoticed and get incorporated into the divorce decree, it will prove difficult, but not impossible, to reverse them.

Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm: Finding the Best Divorce Lawyers Near Me

Preserve your options and protect your rights under Florida’s divorce laws by retaining our experienced divorce lawyers at the Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm. We leverage our expertise to help you pass through a divorce with minimum mental, emotional, and financial damage. Be free, be happy! If you find yourself searching online for the “best divorce lawyers near me”, call one of our friendly staff members at (954) 447-2580, or complete our online form today to schedule your strategy session with a Florida divorce attorney. We have offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, and Sunny Isles Beach, Florida.

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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm
18503 Pines Blvd, Suite 301
Pembroke Pines, FL 33029
(954) 447-2580

Sergio Cabanas, Esq. | Family Law Attorney | Cabanas Law Firm

Sergio Cabanas, Esq. founded the Cabanas Law Firm in 2006 and provides Divorce and Family legal services, as well as Estate Planning, to ensure his clients have planned for their newly single life and are protected after their divorce. He began his career in law in 1992 as a prosecuting attorney at the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, then continued his litigation track as an insurance defense attorney defending medical professionals against medical malpractice claims and expanded into disability and life insurance claims. Sergio is a Certified Mediator registered in the Supreme Court of Florida and a frequent speaker in the community about the importance of Estate Planning to keep families out of probate court and to prepare essential instructions in the event of disability or incapacity.