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Can an Uncontested Divorce Become Contested?

Divorce doesn’t always have to be contentious. There are some couples that manage to part ways without much of a to-do over things. Even couples that don’t necessarily like each other very much end up being able to come together to agree on all of the key issues incident to divorce. When this happens, the divorce is said to be “uncontested.” Both parties agree to the divorce and the terms of the divorce.

An uncontested divorce can be highly beneficial to both parties. It can be much simpler and reduce the stress on everyone involved. It also has the added benefit of avoiding extensive court proceedings and steep legal fees. Achieving an uncontested divorce, however, can be quite a feat and the road to that finalized divorce can be full of unexpected twists and turns.

Can an Uncontested Divorce Become Contested?

In order to achieve an uncontested divorce, the parties must agree to all essential terms of the divorce. This includes:

  • Grounds for divorce
  • Alimony/Spousal support
  • Division of the marital assets
  • Division of the marital debt

Reaching an agreement on any one of these issues can be difficult and may even seem to be futile, at one point or another. It does happen, however. Parties successfully reach the finish line of an uncontested divorce and that usually means that they have kept their costs lower and their timeline shorter than if they had to go through a contested divorce.

While many, maybe even most, couples may want to attempt an uncontested divorce to reap the many benefits it can offer, sometimes it is just not in the cards. Other times, a divorcing couple may try for an uncontested divorce, but realize later on that there are some issues upon which an agreement cannot be reached. When this happens, a court will need to intervene in order to resolve the issues the couple cannot resolve outside of the courtroom.

If at any point during the divorce process the parties find themselves unable to reach an agreement on an issue, the proceedings can be converted from uncontested to contested divorce. This can be accomplished simply by submitting a divorce petition to the court. Once the petition has been filed, the other spouse will be served. A court date will be designated and both parties are to appear in court with their legal representatives. Over the course of the court proceedings, the remaining issues incident to the divorce will be ironed out. At the end of the proceedings, a final divorce decree outlining the terms of the divorce will be issued by the court.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Whether you are in the midst of a contested divorce or uncontested divorce, or an uncontested divorce that turns contested, you can count on the dedicated family law attorney team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou. Throughout addressing and resolving the many issues incident to a divorce, you can trust us to work tirelessly on your behalf, protecting your best interests every step of the way. Contact us today.