Divorce involves a series of choices separating spouses have to face to reach a favorable end result. Initially, the parties choose whether to divorce privately or with the court’s intervention. Parties who amicably agree on divorce matters, such as property division, child custody and support, can proceed with an uncontested divorce. On the other hand, parties who have conflicting terms would have to endure the contested divorce through litigation.
However, the nature of a divorce can change at any time. Parties who initially went for a private settlement may decide in the middle of discussions that it would be better if a judge makes the decision for them.
What are the reasons for such change?
There are several reasons why an uncontested divorce becomes contested and vice versa. For one, there can be a change in circumstances for either party that also changes their preferences regarding divorce matters. For example, the spouse with primary custody initially agrees on the visitation plan, but because of the sudden need to relocate, they would have to make the noncustodial parent’s visits less frequent. As a result, the non-custodial parent may choose to stop the mediation and bring the dispute to court.
Another reason could be misunderstandings. It is possible that before the private settlement, the parties have discussed the general details of the divorce terms. However, upon in-depth discussion, they find out they have conflicting nonnegotiable terms.
Do I have to worry if this change ever happens to my divorce?
It is common for divorces to change from uncontested to contested. If this ever happens to you, you do not have to worry for as long as you keep your rights protected. You can do this by keeping records of necessary documents related to properties, child care and other marriage matters. Moreover, it also helps to have a knowledgeable legal professional evaluate your case and find the most appropriate solution.
Whether you have a contested or uncontested divorce, these measures can give you the confidence to go through the process with minimal to zero worries.