What is the difference between a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce in San Diego? An uncontested divorce, often called a dissolution, can occur when the parties have reached agreement upon every issue associated with their divorce. A Family Court Judge cannot grant a divorce unless and until every relevant issue is completely resolved. This includes, but is not limited to:
- The division of all assets, debts and the family home
- A comprehensive parenting plan addressing all child custody and parenting time issues
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
- The division of the community interest in a business entity or professional practice
- Division of retirement accounts, pensions or systems such as CalSTRS
- Disposition of the family pets
If the couple are in complete agreement on all issues the details must be carefully detailed in a “Stipulated Judgment” or a “Marital Settlement Agreement.” This document is then submitted to the Court for the Judge to review and hopefully approve. If everything is in order the dissolution or uncontested divorce can be granted and the Judge will issue appropriate parenting & support orders.
The difference between a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce is the ability of the couple to resolve their differences and reach agreement on every issue. Many couples wish to have an amicable or dignified divorce. The fact that almost 80% of the divorce cases in California are filed by one of the parties themselves and not by an attorney bears this out. Unfortunately, the old saying of “the devil is in the details” definitely applies.
More than half of the cases filed by an individual party require an attorney in order to complete the divorce. Why is this? Inevitably, after spending hours and hours at the Court’s free clinic and appearing before the Judge a few times only to be disappointed to learn or scolded for incomplete forms, failure to address specific issues or the discovery of genuine disagreement with their former spouse the parties realize why they need an attorney.
It is difficult to envision the entirety of the scope of a divorce at the outset.
A contested divorce provides structure and helps to move the process forward. It provides access to the Court for hearings and trials on specific areas of disagreement. Often these disputes can be resolved by the parties in mediation. Once the matter is resolved the agreement(s) of the parties are memorialized in appropriate documents by your attorney and submitted to the Court for review and approval.
When the parties simply cannot reach agreement the Court must decide the outcome.
In cases involving extreme animosity, issues such as narcissism or borderline personality disorder or a controlling personality a contested divorce is often the only path to accomplish a divorce.
In most cases, the difference between a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce in San Diego lies in the details of the issues associated with the divorce itself. The more complex the lives of the divorcing couple, the more complex the divorce is likely to be. This doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to work through things in an amicable or professional manner. The process of divorce boils down to a simple truth: find a way to apply the concept of “give-and-take” and resolve areas of disagreement, or place them before the Court for the Judge to decide.
You can have a strong impact on the ease or difficulty of the process as well as the outcome. There are proven strategies to help you to resolve issues while accomplishing your goals and objectives. This is why it is important to contact the experienced, proven Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.