Part I Divorce Basics: Contested Divorce v. Uncontested Divorce

The difference between uncontested and contested divorce -Boston Best Divorce Attorney

In this series, “Divorce Basics,” we will cover a different area of divorce. Each series will answer various questions that you may have before getting a divorce.

  1. What is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce is when you and your spouse do not agree upon the terms of divorce, such as the division of property, debt, custody, and parenting issues. Either you or your spouse will file a legal action for divorce, because you cannot reach an agreement. Once a legal action for divorce has been filed, the court is officially engaged in the divorce process. Since you cannot come to an agreement, a judge will be making the decision for the family. A contested divorce usually takes longer to resolve than an uncontested divorce.

  1. What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is when you and your spouse are in agreement to all issues in the divorce such as property division, division of debt, custody, parenting matters, financial support. Cooperation is necessary to agree to all the terms of divorce, and mediators can facilitate that communication. Some spouses work together with a mediator and seek legal advice aside in order to draft an agreement and fully understand the legal language. In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse are able to come in full agreement regarding the division of property and parenting matters both financially and in the best interest of the unemanciapted children.

  1. What are the pros and cons to divorce mediation vs. divorce litigation

Mediation saves time, money, and reduces emotional stress, because the process employs a neutral mediator that helps the parties come to an agreement on all issues in the divorce. Mediation is a process that allows for guided communication and allows the parties to come together to determine the best outcome for their family, without court intervention. Each party may hire an attorney during mediation to assist them with what the law is, and how is applies to their specific situation. It is uncommon for attorneys to be present at the mediation. Each party may retain their attorney to review the separation agreement before they sign it.

Mediation only works if both parties are willing to work together, and truly want to come to an agreement.  It is not always an easy process, but it is worth a try. Mediation is not legally binding, therefore parties may decide to engage in litigation at any time.

To speak with a lawyer about divorce or other family law matter, contact Mavrides Law in Boston, Newton, or Quincy, MA. To schedule an initial consultation, call 617-723-9900 or contact the firm at

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