Thomas Ryan Rumfelt, PLLC

Thomas Ryan Rumfelt, PLLC
Offering Comprehensive Legal Services to Tennessee Residents

The differences between contested and uncontested divorce

Your marriage is headed for divorce, and one of your friends told you how mediation helped her and her spouse resolve their conflicts. However, with the dynamics of your marriage, you are unsure whether an uncontested divorce would be the best decision. You and other Tennessee residents can benefit from understanding the differences between an uncontested divorce and going to court.

As you may be aware, uncontested divorce assists couples in negotiating solutions to their disputes without a judge making the decisions for them. There are numerous benefits to mediation or collaborative law, two popular uncontested divorce methods. However, alternative dispute resolution is not for everyone.

How uncontested divorce works

Uncontested divorce relies on each spouse’s ability to have calm and civil discussions during mediation or collaborative sessions. You and your spouse would need an open mind, and it would help to be able to consider each other’s opinions and feelings while negotiating solutions that you both could agree upon.

Litigation refers to the court process, during which the judge will make the decisions for you. Some couples worry that a judge will not always know the full picture or that one spouse may conceal details from the judge to his or her benefit. 

When it may not work

Your friend may rave about mediation, but your worries can be valid. Uncontested divorce is often not effective when one or both spouses aren’t able to treat each other civilly or try to undermine each other. If your spouse was violent or abused substances during the marriage, litigation may better protect your rights. Mediation or collaborative law may also be less effective if your spouse has a significant financial advantage over you and uses that advantage, among others, to intimidate and belittle you.

Divorce is stressful. You may reduce your stress and increase your chances of an acceptable outcome when you understand how each divorce option works and base your decision on your own circumstances.

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