Many people have an uncontested divorce, but there are also a high number of contested divorce cases each year. It is sometimes assumed that the contest is to the validity of the divorce action and whether or not it will happen. In other words, you may have asked for a divorce, but your spouse is contesting it and saying that they don’t want to split up. People sometimes assume that they are going to court so that the judge can decide if they are allowed to get divorced or not.
Under this assumption, it would mean that a contested divorce is one that may not actually occur and the marriage may continue. But is that what it means?
The terms are being contested
This is actually a misconception, as you do not need fault for a divorce and it cannot be denied by your spouse. They are not contesting whether or not the divorce is valid or permissible. Instead, they are just contesting the terms.
This often means that the couple needs to go to court to determine how to divide child custody. Maybe they both want some custody, something that is impossible, so the judge has to determine who will get sole custody or how to split up shared custody. The couple may also disagree about how to divide retirement assets, bank accounts, investments, debt that they have accumulated, business assets, money from an inheritance and many other high-level financial assets. The court assists with the division process, but it is not deciding if you can get a divorce.
When your divorce process gets complicated, it’s very important to fully understand your legal rights. Acting quickly is the best way to protect your future interests.