Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce: What’s the difference?

Oct 19, 2017

divorceDivorce isn’t easy, even when both spouses know it’s inevitable. There are so many issues that need to be worked out: child support, visitation, and custody; spousal support; the distribution of debts and assets. If you try to navigate it alone, without the benefit of a Brooklyn family law attorney, you may find that it’s even more difficult. You may find that you feel more anger and bitterness because you’re unfamiliar with the laws and unable to decipher what’s truly in your, or your children’s, best interests.

Let’s look at two kinds of divorce: contested and uncontested. What are they, and what’s the difference between them?


In an uncontested divorce, there are no arguments. Both parties agree that the divorce is necessary. They agree to the grounds of the divorce (fault, or no-fault; if fault, they agree on the specific fault cited). They agree on spousal support, child support, visitation, and custody, and the distribution of their debts and assets. They’ve worked everything out between them and need nothing more from the judge than to have the divorce granted and their agreements incorporated into the final divorce judgment. This is usually the fastest, cheapest, and easiest kind of divorce.


A contested divorce is one in which the parties disagree on at least one thing. It may be that one party doesn’t want the divorce, or it may be that they can’t agree on the amount of spousal support or child custody. Whatever the case, there is at least one thing that the couple needs a judge to decide for them. This kind of divorce will require a hearing, possibly multiple hearings. It is also more expensive and can be painful. While you can choose to cite fault or file for a no-fault divorce in a contested divorce, it’s easy for couples to air all the dirty laundry in these cases.

A Brooklyn divorce attorney from Levitsky Law Firm can help you navigate your divorce, whether it’s contested or uncontested. We can help you file the paperwork or work out issues. Call for a free consultation today.