Uncontested Legal Actions vs. Contested Legal Actions

Family matters proceed through the judicial system in one of two ways with slight variations.   An uncontested matter means that parties to an action have been able to resolve their differences and have entered into an agreement, which then becomes a court order binding the parties.           

For example, in an uncontested divorce proceeding, many couples are able to agree on all issues such as an equitable property division, custody of the children and parenting schedules, child support and/or alimony and division of debt, if any.   

Uncontested divorces may involve marriages where one party has an attorney and presents the couples’ agreements for drafting to the attorney.   In these types of uncontested matters, the attorney for one party drafts and submits all the necessary documents to the court, which include the summons, petition, certificate of representation, confidential statement, marital termination agreement, findings of fact, conclusions of law, order for judgment and judgment and decree, summary real estate disposition, and any proposed orders dividing retirement funds.  An attorney may represent only one of the married parties in a divorce proceeding.    

 In comparison, contested divorces are those divorces where couples cannot agree on any issues or disagree on several issues. Contested divorces may involve frequent court appearances to litigate temporary support, custody, parenting time, payment of debts, occupancy of the parties’ home, or other issues that the parties dispute.   Ultimately, contested divorces may end up in trial with exhibits and witnesses. Couples may go to trial on just one or two things that they cannot agree about or on all the areas of dispute.  

The foregoing models apply to all family law matters and not just divorces.    Contested legal matters are always more expensive than uncontested matters.  So it pays to try to settle as many areas of dispute as possible. 

© 2010 Kate Willmore

(320) 217-6030   E-Mail:  kaw@katewillmorelaw.com  www.katewillmorelaw.com


About Kate Willmore, Esq.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, divorce, custody and family attorney brings over 25 years experience to every client's legal matter. *** Licensed in Minnesota and in California

2 Responses to “Uncontested Legal Actions vs. Contested Legal Actions”

  1. Thank you ever so for you post. Much obliged.


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