Divorce is hard, and a contested divorce is even harder. The difference between a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce is both simple and complicated at the same time. If you and your spouse need the court to intervene in setting any of the terms of your divorce, it is a contested divorce, and if you do not, it is an uncontested divorce – that is the simple part. There is, however, naturally a lot more to it than this. Let’s take a closer look.
The Terms of Your Divorce
Although your divorce will be unique to you, the terms that you and your divorcing spouse must hammer out remain the same across every divorce, and they include:
The division of your marital assets
Child custody arrangements (called parental responsibilities and parenting time in Illinois)
If you and your divorcing spouse are in complete harmony regarding every aspect of each of these terms, you can move forward into your post-divorce future with dispatch. Because these terms represent important financial and parental rights, however, things are rarely that easy.
The Implications for You
The fact is that the implications of each and every term of your divorce have the capacity to significantly affect your financial future and your living situation with your children, which means that each should be given the careful attention it deserves. Because the stakes are so high, you are well-advised to work closely with an experienced Killeen divorce attorney.
Negotiating Favorable Terms
While keeping your divorce case out of the court is generally preferable, this does not mean that you simply have to accept whatever terms your soon-to-be ex offers or that you have to get along wonderfully with your divorcing spouse in order to do so. The fact is that most divorcing couples have some animosity that spills over into the negotiation process. After all, divorce is invariably disruptive, and you shouldn't expect the process to be smooth sailing. In the end, you have plenty of options when it comes to negotiating terms with your divorcing spouse that can help you find a middle ground – and can help keep your divorce uncontested. Consider the following:
If your negotiations with your spouse stall, you can turn to your respective divorce attorneys for either additional guidance or to negotiate on your behalf.
You can address those terms that remain unresolved at mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
Ultimately, even if you must turn to the court to settle terms, the fewer involved, the better.