The difference between contested and uncontested divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2017 | Blog, Firm News

Though couples may intend to live happily ever after together, sometimes it is best they be apart. If you are beginning your divorce proceedings, you want to be aware of your options.

There are two types of divorce processes: contested and uncontested. It is imperative you understand the differences between the two.


In a contested divorce, the parties cannot agree on certain aspects, whether it be about the divorce itself or the division of assets. Since the two parties cannot decide, a third party, in the form of the court, makes the decisions for them. A judge decides the outcome in a contested divorce, in accordance with the divorce law of New Hampshire. However, it is not uncommon for parties to be able to come to an agreement during the course of the contested divorce. In such cases, they reach a settlement.


A settlement is an agreement ex-spouses come to before the case makes it to trial. Once the parties create and memorialize a settlement, it becomes legally binding and enforceable. Also, since both parties agree to it, the chances of an appeal to the agreement diminish.


When two parties are able to solidify the terms of their divorce amicably, the divorce is uncontested. In such cases, the ex-spouses come to an agreement about everything, including division of assets, alimony, and child support, if applicable. In such cases, the parties submit their petition for divorce to the courts, and without a need for trial, it is usually a speedy process. This also decreases the emotional and financial obligations.

Depending on your situation, a contested or an uncontested divorce may be necessary. Either way, make sure you understand what the process will entail and what the courts require. This may help you in reaching a decision that best benefits you. If there are any terms or aspects of the process you do not understand, it may be helpful to speak with a knowledgeable attorney.