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Wives: Know the difference between divorce types

When you decide to get a divorce from your husband, you have two main options. The first is to go through a contested divorce, and the second is to go through an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces take less time, cost less money and resolve quickly. Contested divorces have the potential to drag on for many months or years. There are also divorces known as at-fault and no-fault divorces. At-fault divorces require evidence of a fault, like adultery or abuse, while no-fault divorces only need to meet separation requirements.

Uncontested divorces

When you have an uncontested divorce, it's easier to move through the process. These divorces work for couples who have no disagreements over the basic divorce issues that come up, which include child custody, alimony and property division. For example, if you and your spouse have no children, no property and can divide your assets easily, an uncontested divorce works well for you. Uncontested divorces require less paperwork, meaning the divorce itself finalizes faster.

What benefits are there in an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce comes with fewer expenses. The divorce tends to be granted faster, and you can move on with your life sooner.

Contested divorces

Contested divorces take longer to finalize due to disagreements about alimony, child custody arrangements and property division. For example, if you and your spouse are unable to agree on where your child should live, you may need to go through mediation, arbitration or go before the judge to have a parenting plan established.

What are the benefits of a contested divorce?

If you have disagreements about factors in your marriage, a contested divorce gives you a change to have a judge rule on the evidence in your cases. For example, if you believe your husband is hiding assets, you can refuse to agree to any settlements and go to court. You should bring evidence or information on why you believe assets are hidden.

The court may request information from your spouse, or it could find that he is hiding assets. This causes him to lose credibility, which helps when you make requests about what you'd like to see in a settlement.

There are some drawbacks to a contested divorce. It takes longer, and it sometimes drags on for many months or years. You have to remain married until the divorce is finalized, so you must continue to have contact with your spouse in most cases. It costs more to go through a contested divorce, also. Your attorney can talk to you about your specific situation and the kind of divorce that would work best for you.

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