Too many people call me to handle their divorce asking for costs, informing me it is an uncontested divorce. Before answering any questions, I probe further. I ask if the spouse also wants the divorce. Often I am told no. Other times the person says yes, then I ask if the spouse agrees as to custody and visitation. Often I am told no. Other times the person says yes, then I ask if the spouse agrees as to division of assets and debts. Often I am told no. I think you get the picture.
As soon as I receive a “no” response to any of my questions, this instantly tells me it is not an uncontested divorce and the person needs to come into my office for a consultation. I then have to explain to the caller that it is not an uncontested divorce and may need court intervention.
If you and your spouse are both seeking a divorce and agree on everything as to: child custody and visitation; division of assets and debts inclusive of retirement benefits; spousal support if warranted; health and life insurance benefits; then it is an uncontested divorce. But, if you and your spouse disagree as to any issue, even just a part of the issue, and are unable to negotiate it without filing for court assistance, it is not an uncontested divorce and it is a contested divorce. However, if you and your spouse come to an agreement without a trial or after trial but before the judge’s decision, it is a settled contested divorce.
Please remember, only about 17% of all cases go to trial, and only about 6% require a full trial and a Judge’s decision. The majority of cases that are not uncontested divorces become settled contested divorces.