Differences between Contested Divorces & Uncontested Divorces in Tennessee

If you are seeking a divorce, you will want to be mindful of your divorce timeline, costs, and consequences. More importantly, you will need to identify the best attorney to hire to help you navigate this process. You will need to work with your current spouse to separate property and assets fairly and to implement a plan for your family and children. If you have children, Tennessee courts will want to ensure their safety and wellbeing while allowing them to have healthy relationships with both parents.

Divorce can be complicated, and there are two types of divorces. You’ll need to know whether you are going to have a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. A contested divorce is necessary when the parties are unable to agree on all issues. It is very difficult for the parties to agree on all issues, so most divorces are contested divorces. An uncontested divorce results when spouses involved have been able to reach agreement on all issues.

What is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce results when divorcing spouses fail to agree on any issue, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • grounds for divorce;
  • property division;
  • child custody; and
  • alimony or spousal support.

In some cases, the grounds for the divorce may affect how contentious the opposing parties may become. If the outstanding issues remain unresolved after negotiation and mediation, the contested divorce will be resolved by a Tennessee court.

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is possible when each spouse wants to amicably separate and agrees to all legal terms. Filing for an uncontested divorce can save time and money through streamlined court procedures. The couple must agree on all terms, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • property division;
  • child custody; and
  • alimony or spousal support.

What should I expect from a timing standpoint?

Divorce cases can often take more time than most couples desire, but when comparing the two paths, an uncontested divorce will almost certainly result in a quicker process due to its more collaborative nature. A contested divorce can take many months, and even years, to process and resolve. A few factors that determine the length of time a divorce will take are as follows:

  • sophistication of assets
  • family structure (children or no children); and
  • grounds for divorce

What should I expect from a cost standpoint?

An uncontested divorce can save considerable money. A contested divorce, however, may be necessary, as it is difficult to reach agreement on all issues. Contested divorces will cost more due to the following;

  • longer waiting periods for the court;
  • more negotiation meetings between parties and lawyers; and potential additional costs for an auditor, home inspector, or other professional;
  • When a considerable assets, children, or complex legal factors are involved, a contested divorce is usually the necessary process to ensure a fair separation.

Will I have to go to court?

No one likes going to divorce court. It is the unfortunate result of a bad situation. When weighing the potential outcomes, the costs and consequences of being unprepared or unwilling to go to trial can put you at a serious disadvantage in negotiations. In hostile or bitter divorces, spouses may not be able to reach agreement regarding alimony, “equitable” property division, or child custody. When this happens, a judge must make the final decision in the Tennessee court of law.

Choose The Family Law Firm, PLLC of Tennessee

If you find yourself fearing divorce court or uncertain about your family’s future, consider contacting The Family Law Firm, PLLC. If you’re fortunate enough to agree on all issues, The Family Law Firm, PLLC offers streamlined uncontested divorce services. If a contested divorce is a virtual certainty, The Family Law Firm, PLLC has the attorneys, expertise, and attitude you want on your team. We offer high quality legal representation to our clients in the great state of Tennessee. Divorce is something to take seriously, and when entering the divorce process, you want to ensure that you have the right legal guidance to protect your interests. We value our attorney-client relationship and ensure that each client of The Family Law Firm, PLLC receives the highest levels of legal advice and representation.