The vast majority of cases in the American legal system are resolved through settlement. Family law and divorce are no exception. Uncontested divorce has many advantages over contested divorce. Uncontested divorce provides flexibility for you and your spouse to create a tailor-made divorce decree that meets the needs of your family. Uncontested divorce can also significantly cut costs, as you and your spouse will not have to pay attorneys to take the matter all the way to a final hearing. However, there are situations when an uncontested divorce may not work.
In any case involving recent domestic violence, uncontested divorce may very well not be appropriate or even possible. Victims of domestic violence are especially vulnerable to coercion or pressure from the abuser, making any potential agreement less likely to be an accurate representation of what both parties actually want. Domestic violence, no matter what its form, is always about control, so it may be preferable to have a contested divorce hearing to allow the judge the impartial control over the ultimate outcome.
Another reason contested divorce may be better for your case is if your spouse is making unreasonable demands. If your spouse is argumentative and refusing to discuss any reasonable settlement options, a contested divorce may provide the best option. Regardless of whether your spouse is willing to come to the table and have realistic discussions about options to resolve the issues of your divorce, a judge will be able to make the ultimate decisions for you. Continuing to engage with an unreasonable or spiteful spouse could lead to unnecessarily prolonging your divorce case in the unlikely hope that you will be able to resolve your case.
If your spouse absolutely refuses to accept the fact that a divorce is inevitable, a contested divorce may also be the best option for you. If one spouse is set against a divorce, he or she will likely take special steps to slow down or stop the divorce. If that describes your spouse, then he or she is not likely to want to facilitate an uncontested divorce or any reasonable settlement. A contested divorce will allow you to push your case forward by leaving the decisions up to the judge, instead of in the hands of a recalcitrant spouse.
We are experienced in all types of divorce, ranging from the most simple uncontested matter to extremely complex and acrimonious matters. Call us for a consultation at (320) 299-4249 to discuss your case and see what we can do to move it forward.