When couples decide to divorce in Illinois, they have two options: a contested divorce or a non-contested divorce.
April 11, 2023
What is the Difference Between a Contested and Non-Contested Divorce?
When couples decide to divorce in Illinois, they have two options: a contested divorce or a non-contested divorce. The difference between the two lies in whether the parties can reach an agreement on the issues in the divorce. In this blog, we'll explore the differences between a non-contested and contested divorce in Illinois and offer some tips for navigating each type of divorce.
A non-contested divorce, also known as an uncontested divorce, is a divorce in which both parties agree on all issues related to the divorce. This includes issues such as property division, spousal maintenance, child custody, and child support. In a non-contested divorce, the parties work together to draft a divorce settlement agreement that outlines how these issues will be resolved.
Advantages of a Non-Contested Divorce
There are several advantages to a non-contested divorce, including:
Lower Cost: Non-contested divorces are often less expensive than contested divorces because the parties do not need to spend as much time and money on litigation.
Quicker Resolution: Because the parties agree on all issues in the divorce, non-contested divorces can be resolved more quickly than contested divorces.
Less Stressful: Non-contested divorces can be less stressful for both parties because they do not have to go through the emotional and financial toll of a lengthy legal battle.
More Control: In a non-contested divorce, the parties have more control over the outcome of the divorce because they work together to reach an agreement.
A contested divorce, on the other hand, is a divorce in which the parties cannot agree on all issues related to the divorce. This includes issues such as property division, spousal maintenance, child custody, and child support. In a contested divorce, the parties may need to go to court to resolve these issues.
Advantages of a Contested Divorce
There are several advantages to a contested divorce, including:
Court Intervention: In a contested divorce, the court can intervene to ensure that both parties are treated fairly and that the best interests of any children involved are protected.
More Protection: In a contested divorce, both parties have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments to the court to support their case.
More Control: In some cases, a contested divorce can give parties more control over the outcome of the divorce because they have the opportunity to make their case to the court.
Flexibility: In a contested divorce, the parties have more flexibility in terms of reaching a resolution. The court may be able to offer solutions that the parties had not considered.
Tips for Navigating Non-Contested and Contested Divorces
Hire an Experienced Divorce Attorney: Whether you are going through a non-contested or contested divorce, it's important to hire an experienced divorce attorney who can provide guidance and support throughout the process. Your attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and work to protect your interests.
Be Open to Compromise: In a non-contested divorce, it's important to be open to compromise and to work with your spouse to find a mutually acceptable solution. In a contested divorce, being open to compromise can help expedite the process and reduce the emotional and financial toll of litigation.
Keep Your Children's Best Interests in Mind: If you have children, it's important to keep their best interests in mind throughout the divorce process. This means avoiding speaking negatively about your spouse in front of your children, prioritizing their emotional and physical well-being, and working together with your spouse to create a parenting plan that works for everyone.
Stay Organized: Whether you are going through a non-contested or contested divorce, it's important to stay organized throughout the process. Keep copies of all documents related to the divorce, including financial records, property deeds, and court filings. This can help you stay on top of deadlines and ensure that you have all the necessary information to make informed decisions.
Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution: In both non-contested and contested divorces, it may be beneficial to consider alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or collaborative divorce. These methods can help parties reach a resolution more quickly and amicably.
Be Prepared for Court: If you are going through a contested divorce, it's important to be prepared for court. This means working closely with your attorney to understand the legal process and the issues in the case, and being prepared to present evidence and arguments to the court.
In conclusion, the difference between a non-contested and contested divorce in Illinois lies in whether the parties can reach an agreement on the issues in the divorce. While non-contested divorces can be less expensive and less stressful, contested divorces can offer parties more protection and flexibility. Whether you are going through a non-contested or contested divorce, it's important to work with an experienced divorce attorney, be open to compromise, keep your children's best interests in mind, stay organized, consider alternative dispute resolution, and be prepared for court. By taking these steps, you can navigate the divorce process with greater ease and achieve a more positive outcome.
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