The Myth of the Uncontested Divorce

Folks often contact me and claim that they have an “uncontested divorce.”  What these folks often mean is that both parties want to be divorced.  However, they do not agree on the terms of the divorce.  Specifically, they do not agree to the property division, the custody arrangements for the children, the child support amount or any one of a hundred possible points of dispute.  So their case is contested.

The other “uncontested” divorce is the litigant who comes in wanting the divorce so badly that he or she is willing to give the other party any and every thing, to their own detriment.  This client wants to give up child custody, cave to whatever visitation terms the other party dictates, pay more than the client’s share of bills and even give up equity in the marital home.  Many times, these clients think that by being overly agreeable, that they will have an “uncontested” divorce.  However, this is not always the case.  There are times when going to court with this mindset can back fire.  A scorned spouse is almost never agreeable, especially if the “agreeable” spouse has a new love interest.

It is my experience that the “uncontested” divorce is largely a myth.  I have seen very few such actions in my 21 years of practice.  Whether or not it is right, human beings seem to have an inherent nature to argue.



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