Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

One of the most common questions our practice receives when a client is considering divorce is “what is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce?”  The Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers at Abilheira Law answer this question in today’s blog.

Uncontested Divorce

Simply agreeing with your spouse that it is time for a divorce does not mean your divorce is uncontested. An uncontested divorce or “nominal divorce” as it is called in Rhode Island, is reserved only for those couples who have reached a complete agreement regarding the equitable division of their property, alimony/spousal support, child custody, and child support.

If your divorce is truly uncontested, an attorney will draft a settlement agreement reflecting the resolutions made by the parties. Both parties will be given the opportunity to review the agreement and your attorney will make all necessary changes. Finally, both parties must sign the agreement before your attorney can file it with the court. Both parties will have to appear before a judge, so that the judge may finalize the divorce and issue a divorce decree. In Rhode Island, the parties must wait 90 days for a final divorce decree.

​Contested Divorce

On the other hand, a contested divorce refers to a situation where you and your spouse have not discussed all the issues surrounding the divorce or situations where you and your spouse have been unable to come to an agreement upon the terms of the settlement. In a contested divorce, your attorney will negotiate the terms of the settlement agreement with your spouse and his or her attorney.

It is important to note that, while some contested divorces ultimately lead to litigation and eventually a trial, the vast majority of these cases will result in resolutions outside of a courtroom, utilizing methods like mediation.

Contact the Divorce Attorneys at Abilheira Law

For more information on divorce, spousal support, child custody, and child support visit our family law pages.

Whether you and your spouse are agreeing to an uncontested divorce or you are facing the reality of a contested divorce, the Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers at Abilheira Law will thoroughly review your case, inform you of options, and fight for your rights. Call today for a free confidential consultation, ​401-245-5100.