Divorce can be very challenging and overwhelming, heightening emotions and financial stress, especially when children are involved. For some, it can feel even more overwhelming when you feel like you don’t have any control over the situation. For others, constantly fighting and not coming to an agreement can cause stress. It’s important to understand your options to make the process as painless as possible.

What is the Difference?

The main difference is that uncontested divorce allows you to come to a mutual agreement with your spouse and have more control over the things most important to you. With divorce, there come a lot of decisions about how to divide assets, alimony, child support, etc. Contested divorce occurs when there’s not a mutual agreement on each of these major issues and the court will make the decisions and terms. Both processes take time, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your situation.

Benefits of Uncontested Divorce

More Control

As previously mentioned, the court will decide if the two parties can’t settle on one together. But with an uncontested divorce, you can negotiate directly without the interference of the court, allowing you to be able to bring up the big and most important issues with your partner first.

Quicker Process

When you have to go through court to get a settlement, it may take longer. There are legal actions required, such as trial and discovery, when you go to court and finalize everything. Without all the legal procedures, the process can be a bit quicker.

Lawyer can Still Help

Even if you do not take your divorce to court, you can still have aid through a lawyer. You and your partner can work out the issues, while the attorney can help with drafting and filing paperwork to make sure it goes through correctly.

Less Expensive

There are a lot of legal fees you have to pay when going through a contested divorce. A contested divorce costs about 10-15k more than an uncontested divorce, taking those fees and lawyers into account.

Benefits of Contested Divorce

Court Intervention

As partners, you must negotiate to agree. If your partner is uncooperative, hiding assets, or being manipulative, the court can step in to make decisions, helping you finalize the process.

Better for the Children

It can be beneficial to choose to get a contested divorce when children are involved because it can be hard to agree when considering the time you get to spend with your children. The court considers all factors to determine the best arrangement for the child’s well-being, which can be beneficial if you and your partner can’t agree on custody arrangements.


If minimizing financial costs is a priority, an uncontested divorce might alleviate some stress by avoiding extra fees and delays. However, if you and your partner struggle to agree on key decisions, a contested divorce may be necessary. Ultimately, it’s important to choose the approach that best suits your unique circumstances and works best for you and your partner.