You have reached a point in your marriage that separation is, unfortunately, the only way forward. The reasons for this are often multifaceted, but from a legal point of view, you and your spouse have reached an impasse due to “irreconcilable differences.” You must now make a number of significant decisions that will either be in concert, or in contention, with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Depending on your present relationship, how the differences in your marriage ultimately came to be, and your individual goals, you could be facing a contested divorce, uncontested divorce, or a combination of the two. But what exactly does that entail?
Uncontested vs. Contested
An uncontested divorce proceeds exactly how it sounds. Couples, who have either jointly or individually decided to go their separate ways, are now faced with the difficult task of effectively splitting up their lives. This means dividing everything from marital property to time spent with children. In an uncontested divorce, separating couples will generally agree to each other’s requests and find a way to split property in the most agreeable way possible. Equitable divisions in an uncontested divorce often involve:
- Saving accounts and retirement plans
- Long-term investments and family owned businesses
- Real estate and other equity
- Automobiles, jewelry, and other items of value
- Custody and timesharing schedules
However, while most couples will agree to the divorce, in one capacity or another, they will not always see eye-to-eye on the division of property or custody. Oftentimes, one party believes they are entitled to a larger share of whatever is in question. In other instances, one party simply wishes to make the proceedings as difficult as possible for the other. Whatever the case may be, this becomes what is known as a contested divorce. In California, contested divorces make up the vast majority of splits that occur each year, even though they require a greater amount of time, money, and resources.
Speak to a Family Law Attorney
Whether you are facing a contested or uncontested divorce, we highly recommend contacting a qualified family law firm as soon as possible. In both instances, you are terminating a legally binding contract – your marriage – and as such, will need proper representation to successfully see it through. Before taking that next step, call the Law Office of Rick D. Banks and get the information you need to make an informed decision.