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Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce: Which One is Right for Me? 

Steven L. Rotenberg, PLLC April 11, 2023

Two broken golden wedding rings with divorce decree documentDivorce can be one of the most difficult experiences any family can go through. Michigan is not an exception. In 2021, the state saw 2.3 divorces per 1,000 residents. While not a unique issue, to have, every divorce in and of itself is unique, because every individual and family is unique. The law acknowledges this, which is why there are different procedural paths you can take while undergoing your marriage dissolution. But whether your divorce is amicable or on the messier side, you’ll want a trusted advisor by your side to guide you through every important decision.  

That is why attorney Steven L. Rotenberg serves Bingham Falls, Michigan residents with the dedicated legal counsel they deserve when navigating divorce-related issues. With over two decades of experience, he’s here to help folks get the support they need to make the right decision based on their family's best interests. If you’re considering filing for divorce in Monroe, Pontiac, Mount Clemens, or anywhere near the Detroit area, reach out to him today to understand your rights and options.  

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

In an uncontested divorce, also known as an amicable/friendly divorce, both spouses agree to end their marriage and settle all related issues without going to trial. This situation means that the spouses are able to work out all of the details of their divorce—such as division of property, spousal support, child custody, and child support—without the need for a judge to make decisions for them. 

In an uncontested divorce, after you and your spouse make decisions about each issue, you will submit your agreement to the court for approval. The court will review the agreement to ensure that it is fair and reasonable and complies with the state’s laws on divorce. If the court approves the agreement, they will issue a final divorce decree that makes it legally binding. 

An uncontested divorce can take a few weeks to finalize, making it the fastest and less complicated to end a marriage. But even in an uncontested divorce, it’s still in your best interest to get the help of an experienced divorce attorney, as they help guide you through all the paperwork and legal requirements. Without an attorney, you risk facing unexpected delays due to compliance issues. 

What Is a Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce is a legal process in which one or both spouses are unable to agree on one or more major issues related to the divorce. Because the spouses are unable to reach an agreement on their own, the court is required to make decisions for them. 

In a contested divorce, both spouses typically hire attorneys to represent them. The attorneys will present evidence and arguments to support their client’s position on the contested issues. The judge will consider the evidence and make decisions based on the parties’ interests, as well as any applicable state laws. 

A contested divorce can be a lengthy and stressful process, as it often involves multiple court appearances and can take several months or even years to resolve. In addition, contested divorces can be expensive, as both spouses may need to pay for their own attorney’s fees, as well as court costs and other expenses. 

When dealing with a contested divorce, the help of a professional divorce attorney helps ensure a fair outcome. The right family law attorney helps the parties navigate complex legal paperwork and compliance issues while reducing stressful negotiations and confrontations. 

Which One Is Right for Me? 

An uncontested divorce can be a good option when both spouses can agree on all major issues related to the divorce, such as division of property, spousal support (alimony), child custody, and child support, without needing a judge to make decisions for them. A family law attorney can help speed up the process by drafting and submitting the necessary paperwork to the court.  

In contrast, a contested divorce is the right option in situations where you and your spouse cannot agree on major issues related to your divorce. The help of a trusted divorce attorney is crucial in understanding one’s rights. An attorney can advocate for you during negotiations and fight for your best possible outcome. 

Don’t Face Divorce Alone 

Divorce Attorney Steven L. Rotenberg, PLLC, is here to help folks navigate the complex waters of family law processes throughout Michigan. Don’t face divorce alone. Attorney Rotenburg is here to take charge of your case and help you seek a brighter future. Contact his office in Bingham Farms, Michigan to get a trusted family attorney on your side today.