Understanding the Impact of Contested Versus Uncontested Divorces in Georgia

When speaking with a lawyer about an intended divorce, the first question that he or she may ask is whether it is uncontested or contested.  This can mean the difference between a relatively simple parting of ways or a complex process of court-mandated terms.

Uncontested Divorces

In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on all aspects of the divorce agreement.  There are no controversies or disputes.  The spouses and their respective lawyers move through the negotiations without requiring decisions to be made by the courts.

Generally speaking, an uncontested divorce is less complicated and proceeds through the legal system faster than one that is contested.  The attorney for one of the parties will draft a settlement agreement reflecting the terms that were discussed, both parties will review it, and ideally, minimal changes will be made.  The settlement is then signed by both parties and filed with the court.

Contested Divorces

In a contested divorce, the parties cannot agree on whether to get a divorce, the terms of the divorce, or both.  In this situation, the disagreement is often regarding the four major terms of a divorce: equitable division of assets and liabilities, alimony, child support, or child custody.  Contested divorce cases are often substantially more time consuming, expensive, and stressful for both parties.

Often times, the attorneys for each spouse will work together to attempt to negotiate a settlement agreement without litigation.  However, in many cases, agreements are unable to be reached, and the case proceeds to trial.  In this situation, the contested divorce is typically heard and decided by a judge, but either party may demand a jury trial.

Legal Representation During a Divorce

At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our attorneys are dedicated to reaching the best possible outcome for our clients. Our criminal defense attorneys, Patrick McDonough and Trinity Hundredmark, have combined experience of more than 30 years representing clients facing criminal charges in Georgia. For more information, or to request a case evaluation, contact our law office at 1-770-822-0900.